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This presentation of the American dream embodies a certain number of preconceptions that instead of allowing us to believe the American dream is possible for everyone, instead shows us the things that sometimes make it impossible.
Crane's vision of the attainment of the American dream includes themes of love, society, social class, ambition, and survival. Our protagonist, Maggie, falls for the wrong guy; or does she? Because of him she begins to distort her own realities. She sees herself as not good enough, she see him as far too good for her, but she has such a good time falling in love and thinking that maybe it'll all turn out the way she wants that she sets herself up for the "big fall" when he dumps her. A man who wasn't worthy of her goodness actually ends up being the reason she believes the American dream is impossible to attain. In essence, Maggie wasn't beaten by her lover alone; in the end she let it beat her all by herself.
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets