Who is the Dreamer? : Complications of the American Dream College

The core of the American Dream, for many, entails liberty, a value historically represented through New York’s famed amusement park Coney Island. Millions of spectators visited the park as a place of leisure to escape social prescriptions as well as the humdrum everyday life. In reality, the park represented the rapid emergence of consumption through manipulative cooperation with industrial society. Like Coney Island, America’s hegemonic structure is really disguised behind its appeal of autonomy. Forced migrants and immigrants quickly realized that America’s picturesque aesthetics left little to no room for them. According the American Dream, everyone has a fair chance at wealth if the individual is driven and hardworking. This façade, painting the country as the harbor of freedom and liberty, promotes the nostalgia of an America that exists for the “other” only after confronting the dynamics of American’s hegemonic society or conforming to its mass economic culture. This complex reality is notably exemplified through two facets of American popular culture: the transformation of an Eastern European family in Ragtime and the perspective of an African-American poet, Langston Hughes, through “Let America Be America Again.”


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