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Our Way in Study

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kikiiapriliyani
Words 1000
Pages 4
How does one achieve the American Dream? The answer undoubtedly depends upon one’s definition of the Dream, and there are many from which to choose. John Winthrop envisioned a religious paradise in a “City upon a Hill”. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of racial equality. Both men yearned for what they perceived as perfection. Scholars have recognized widely varying conceptions of these quests for American excellence. One component of the American Dream seems, however, to be fairly consistent: the quest for money. Few will deny that Americans are intently focused on the “almighty dollar”. In a society dedicated to capitalism and the maxim that, “the one who dies with the most toys wins”, the ability to purchase a big house and a nice car separates those who are considered successful from those who are not. Yet the question remains, how does one achieve this success? How is the Dream realized? For many Americans the formula is one of instant, albeit elusive, gratification. Rather than adhering to a traditional work ethic, far too many Americans are pinning their hopes on what they perceive as “easy” money. This article focuses on three phenomena in contemporary American society that have successfully captured the quest for the American Dream. Savvy marketers have convinced their audiences that a new wave of television game shows, lottery luck, and lucrative lawsuits are the way to wealth.
Instant wealth has not always been a major component of the Dream. Americans have traditionally centered their efforts on thrift and hard work. During the Colonial Period, Benjamin Franklin counseled people on the “The Way to Wealth”. Poor Richard Almanac advised that “Early to Bed, and early to rise, makes a Man healthy, wealthy, and wise”. The key to wealth was industry: “Industry pays debts”, insisted Poor Richard. Americans of the Early Republic expanded Franklin’s notion of industry into a labor ideology. For many the goal was not extravagant wealth, but, rather, economic independence and the opportunity for social advancement through financial gain. Abraham Lincoln insisted that the greatness of the American North was that industry allowed all men to prosper: “The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This … is free labor-the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all.
In the midst of industrialization following the Civil War, many Americans experienced profound hardship in the changing economic landscape. They found solace in the tales of Horatio Alger, whose characters overcame adversity through industry, perseverance, self-reliance, and self-discipline. The ubiquitous “rags to riches” legend became a cornerstone of American society; anyone could succeed and achieve wealth if they worked hard. The commitment to industry illustrated by Alger’s characters, Lincoln’s ideals of free labor, and Franklin’s practical maxims were further solidified in the American mind by the addition of a religiously based, Protestant “work ethic”. Many believed that hard work allowed one to not only achieve financial success, but, through that success, revealed God’s grace.

Bagaimana seseorang mencapai American Dream? Jawabannya pasti tergantung pada definisi seseorang tentang Dream, dan ada banyak dari yang untuk memilih. John Winthrop membayangkan sebuah surga dalam agama "City pada Hill". Martin Luther King, Jr bermimpi persamaan ras. Keduanya merindukan apa yang mereka anggap sebagai kesempurnaan. Para ahli telah diakui sangat beragam konsepsi quests untuk keunggulan Amerika. Salah satu komponen dari American Dream tampaknya, namun, harus cukup konsisten: pencarian uang. Sedikit akan menyangkal bahwa Amerika penuh perhatian difokuskan pada "Dolar Yang Mahakuasa". Dalam masyarakat yang didedikasikan untuk kapitalisme dan pepatah bahwa, "orang yang mati dengan mainan terbanyak memenangkan", kemampuan untuk membeli rumah besar dan mobil bagus memisahkan mereka yang dianggap sukses dari mereka yang tidak. Namun pertanyaannya tetap, bagaimana seseorang mencapai kesuksesan ini? Bagaimana Dream menyadari? Bagi banyak orang Amerika formula adalah salah satu instan, meskipun sulit dipahami, kepuasan. Daripada mengikuti etika kerja tradisional, orang Amerika terlalu banyak menaruh harapan mereka pada apa yang mereka anggap sebagai uang "mudah". Artikel ini berfokus pada tiga fenomena dalam masyarakat Amerika kontemporer yang telah berhasil menangkap pencarian untuk American Dream. Savvy marketer telah meyakinkan khalayak mereka bahwa gelombang baru game show televisi, keberuntungan lotere, dan tuntutan hukum yang menguntungkan adalah cara untuk kekayaan.
Kekayaan Instan tidak selalu menjadi komponen utama dari Dream. Amerika secara tradisional berpusat pada upaya penghematan dan kerja keras. Selama Masa Kolonial, Benjamin Franklin menasihati orang-orang di "Jalan ke Kekayaan". Poor Richard Almanak menyarankan bahwa "Awal ke Bed, dan awal untuk bangkit, membuat Man yang sehat, kaya, dan bijaksana". Kunci kekayaan adalah industri: "Industri membayar hutang", bersikeras Poor Richard. Amerika Republik Awal memperluas gagasan Franklin industri menjadi ideologi kerja. Bagi banyak gol itu tidak kekayaan boros, tapi, bukan, kemandirian ekonomi dan kesempatan untuk kemajuan sosial melalui keuntungan finansial. Abraham Lincoln bersikeras bahwa kebesaran Amerika Utara adalah industri diizinkan semua orang untuk mencapai kesejahteraan: "Para pemula, bijaksana tanpa uang sepeser pun di dunia, tenaga kerja untuk upah sementara, menyimpan surplus yang dapat digunakan untuk membeli alat-alat atau tanah, untuk dirinya sendiri, kemudian buruh pada rekening sendiri sementara yang lain, dan panjang lebar mempekerjakan pemula baru lain untuk membantunya. Ini ... adalah tenaga kerja gratis sistem adil dan murah hati, dan sejahtera, yang membuka jalan bagi semua.

Di tengah industrialisasi setelah Perang Saudara, banyak orang Amerika mengalami kesulitan besar dalam lanskap ekonomi yang berubah. Mereka menemukan penghiburan dalam cerita-cerita Horatio Alger, yang karakter mengatasi kesulitan melalui industri, ketekunan, kemandirian, dan disiplin diri. Mana-mana "kain untuk kekayaan" legenda menjadi landasan masyarakat Amerika; orang bisa berhasil dan mencapai kekayaan jika mereka bekerja keras. Komitmen untuk industri digambarkan oleh karakter Alger itu, cita-cita Lincoln kerja bebas, dan prinsip-prinsip praktis Franklin tersebut kemudian dipadatkan dalam pikiran Amerika dengan penambahan "etos kerja", yang didasarkan agama Protestan. Banyak yang percaya bahwa kerja keras memungkinkan seseorang untuk tidak hanya mencapai kesuksesan finansial, tetapi, melalui kesuksesan itu, mengungkapkan kasih karunia Allah.…...

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