American Dream in The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy and the Poem “Dandelion”

What is the “American dream”? The American dream is defined as, “the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative’fl The keyword (s) in that definition are “US citizen”. Why? In the states it is more likely to have a higher quality of living based on the better climate, economy, and social structure Because of these aspects, many cultures choose to immigrate and pursue their American dream in the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, opportunity comes with a price for migrants as opposed to natural-born US citizens. For example, in the novel, The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Thi Diem Thuy Le, the American dream of a Vietnamese family faced numerous challenges when coming to America.

They came to the states for refuge, but unknowingly they would still face discrimination, poverty, and many other adversities This holds to be true for most people coming from other countries to the states looking to acquire a better life in America. These migrating individuals envision the possibility of starting a business, owning a home, and having stability in their families based on the ideology society puts out about the “American dream”. The American dream is even hard for most Americans to accomplish. In the poem, “Dandelion”, a young girl narrates the sad tale of her mother’s lost dreams. She said her mother had hoped for a “white picket fence”. Typically the connotation to a white picket fence means a nice home with a well-rounded all-American family.

This has been put into society’s head for decades through media (especially sitcoms based around families). The mother in “Dandelion” struggles to meet her everyday needs for herself and her daughter which seems simple, but is it? Is the American dream merely just a dream? The reader sees the mother of the narrator turn cynical and hopeless as she realizes the American dream is just as difficult for her as it is to people living outside of the US. However, a positive similarity between American and foreign cultures is that they are always growing. In an example, the “dream“, whatever that may be, may not be as difficult to younger generations. The unemployment rate has declined in the millennial which has driven further opportunities for financial stability in current and migrating families. It has also become possible for the” American dream” to now differ from generation to generation because people are starting to take matters into their own hands and change it.

Young adults are building a new American dream because they are facing different struggles than their parents and grandparents, The new dream is not how to live comfortably, it is how to get rich quick – how to be known Finally, the American dream is not only different culture to culture, or generation, it is also based on individuality The one thing an individual of any race, shape, or color can agree on is the place to look for success — America, America has and always will be the land of opportunity Americans have the luxury to build their own success from nothing, it just takes dedication and determination to get that task accomplished. Stop sleeping, wake up from the dream, and turn it into a reality.

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