The American Dream
The Declaration of Independence from 4th July 1776 declares: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In this statement, we can find many of the core elements of the American Dream; freedom, equality, opportunity, ambition and success.
A very simple definition of the concept of the American Dream is "the idea that the US is a place where anyone can become successful if they work hard enough" (Macmillan Dictionary).
Pre-viewing discussion questions
- What would you say are the main characteristics of the American Dream in the 21st century? In other words, what does it take to be classed as “successful”, “happy” and “living the dream” in today’s United States?
- Make a list of 3-5 Americans who you see as living proof of the American Dream.
- Discuss: “If you work hard and devote yourself to becoming successful, then no matter who you are or where you are from, your dreams can come true.”