The Double-Edged American Dream
This article discusses the disparity between the ideals of the American Dream and reality. The American Dream promises greater reward through hard work and personal responsibility, but the reality is that working harder has done nothing to narrow the pay equity gap between the working class and the upper class. This article argues that the American Dream is only achievable on a level playing field, but the American Dream’s focus on the individual means that people blame themselves rather than their circumstances for their failures. This keeps people working, but perpetuates the current situation by making them unable to see the need for large-scale changes.
A speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964, which contains several of the same concepts mentioned in the above articles, such as the unequal reality which must be overcome to achieve the American Dream, and the focus on the individual which perpetuates the status quo.