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Impact of American Dream on Identity in Literature

1349 words (5 pages) Essay in Sociology

04/10/17 Sociology Reference this

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American dream is a fantasy to a lot of people however in both readings it is depicted as an unfulfilled dream which is constantly sought after by both local and non-local Americans. To portray all possible dimensions of this fascinating subject I would like to quote two readings in my analysis which are “Let America be America again”[1] by Langston Hughes and “American Dreamer”[2] by Bharti Mukherji. “Let America Be America Again,” (Verse 1) claims for atonement of the Dream that never was. It talks about the flexibility and correspondence which America brags, yet never had. It anticipates a day when “Liberty is crowned with no false patriotic wreath” (Verse 11-12) and America is “that great strong land of love” (Verse 7). Author is not restricting his request to the discouraged Negro; he also incorporates the foreigner, the poor white, laborer, the Indian, agriculturist, “the people” (Verse 32) impart the Dream that has not been. The Dream still signals. In Freedom’s Plow he brings up that “America is a dream” (Verse 76) and the result of the seed of opportunity is for all Americans as well as for all the world. The American Dream of fraternity, opportunity, and majority rules system must go to all people groups and all races of the world, he demands. The American Dream has showed up as a worn out, uneven, splotched, and frequently unattainable objective which regularly turned into a bad dream, yet there is dependably any desire for the satisfied dream even in the darkest minutes. All through the ballad, Hughes contrasts his trusts for America with the truth of life for those outside of the socially and monetarily predominant racial, religious, and social gatherings. He inspires the intense longs for the individuals who went to the United States on the grounds that they saw it as a paradise where they could be sheltered from the mistreatment they persisted in their countries however those fantasies of America have never materialized. Same is the situation with second reading perusing by Bharati Mukherjee who discusses her perspectives as a worker. Originating from India and her town Faridpur, Mukherjee advising Americans and foreigners to look to the new American society and don’t be impeded by old traditions. Mukherjee discusses being friendless and separated from her establishes while in Canada where the populace is not as with the exception of. In her words they “resists culture fusion” I concur with her announcements on Canada and think the U.S. while it is known for racial and social tolerance is underrated on the world stage. Having all criticism, authors are hopeful for better prospects as a result of endeavored struggle in upcoming future.

The sonnet “Let America be America again” starts with Hughes longing for America to be the America it once was; on the other hand, he remarks harshly, this picture of America is patently false. The most punctual Americans honed subjugation and persecution, efficiently pulverizing the land’s local people groups to assemble their settlements. The perfect of “America” exists just in dreams, Hughes clarifies. Notwithstanding, he asks, “Let America be the dream that dreamers dreamed- / Let it be that great strong land of love / Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme.” (Verse 6-8) For destitute, Native Americans, slaves, and workers, American has just ever been a “dog eat dog” world where the frail are “crushed.” The “humble, hungry, mean” residents don’t get to drink from the mug of bounty; in spite of diligent work and aspiration, they will dependably stay outside the edges of achievement and solace.

The speaker steps back almost instantly and recognizes that numerous visionaries came to America with the trust of cutting out an equivalent bit of riches and acknowledgement. The challenging were compelling, Hughes shouts, and he commends the visionaries who “dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true.” (Verse 39) The outcasts from Ireland, Poland, England, and significantly all the more along these Verses, the African slaves, landed in America on the grounds that they had no other decision. Then again, considerably in the wake of building the establishment of this “homeland of the free,” its wealth stay beyond their control.

The speaker shouts out that the “Negros,” workers, and destitute must ascend and reclassify American equity as it was constantly intended to be. He states decidedly, “We must take back our land again, / America!” (Verse 70) Even if America is currently presently tormented by separation and voracity, the speaker (and Hughes) accept that it can be made strides. Consequently, the ballad closes on a hopeful, effective note of determination toward oneself and diligence.

In “American Dreamer”, Mukherjee felt that the switch between an outside understudy and U.S. national was a huge change. She likewise says that she considers being an American resident important. I imagine that there is a noteworthy contrast in points of view toward citizenship between individuals who worker here and individuals who’s families have known only the Americas. Like Mukherjee says, “I became a citizen by choice, not by simple accident of birth.” (American Dreamer, Mukherjee) She looks down on individuals who were given American citizenship (by conception) and don’t admire it or grasp it.

She adds to the multiculturalism that is so fundamental in the accomplishment of the United States. “II chose to describe myself on my own terms, as an American, rather than as an Asian-American. Why is it that hyphenation is imposed only on nonwhite Americans? Rejecting hyphenation is my refusal to categorize the cultural landscape into a center and its peripheries; it is to demand that the American nation deliver the promises of its dream and its Constitution to all its citizens equally.” (American Dreamer, Mukherjee) In this section Mukherjee truly demonstrates her imperviousness to the average foreigners who may call themselves Asian-American rather than simply an American. Mukherjee rejects this hyphenation. She accepts she is equivalent to all other American residents whether she was conceived in American or not. Mukherjee has an intense tone in this section. She is deciding to portray herself “on her own terms” (American Dreamer, Mukherjee). She decides to call herself an American and is extremely pleased to do this. She realizes that she merits all the rights and benefits that a local American merits.

Later Mukherjee communicates her fervor about as a country we have not just the opportunity to hold those qualities we prize from our unique societies additionally the opportunity to recognize that the external types of those qualities are liable to change. Folks express fury or depression to a few parts of Indian society. Mukherjee might want to ask those folks this, “What is it we have lost if our children are acculturating into the culture in which we are living? Is it so terrible that our children are discovering or are inventing homelands for themselves?” (American Dreamer, Mukherjee) She is recognizing that America has changed her. She says that it doesn’t end until she demonstrates that she alongside the countless workers like her are moment by moment changing America. This change is a two-way transform that influences both the individual and the country social personality.

Both of the above mentioned readings portray that American dream of millions has changed their identity as well. Their old identities had been lost somewhere on the way to their American dream. The only thing they left now is just their American identity. Both authors are hopeful and courageous regarding prosperous future of immigrants who endeavor to move to America for the sake of their American dream and American identities.


[1] Hughes, L. (1935), Let American be America Again, retrieved from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again.

[2] Mukherjee, B., (1997), “American Dream”, Mother Jones.

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