When people think of the American dream people usually think of the happy, white picket fence mentality. There are many other American dreams besides that one though. There is the dream of being wealthy and living a popular lifestyle. In contrast, there is the dream of wanting to stick to the smaller setting, with the quiet Puritan based lifestyle. These two American dreams are very different. The biggest difference between them is the way they want to make their money. The get rich quick types result to questionable practices and even illegal things to make their money, while the more suburban lifestyle is defined by hard working people looking to make an honest living.
The American dream of wanting a rich lavish lifestyle is evident with the public’s obsession with celebrities. Another characteristic of this dream is wanting to get rich quick. A good example of this would be the lottery, which is nothing but a way to get rich quick. In literature you could look at The Great Gatsby for an example of this. Gatsby changes his name to a more English sounding name to fit in, and turns to crime to make his fortune quickly. He also loves to throw lavish parties and live in excess.
The American dream of living the quiet rural, somewhat Puritan based life is made clear with the population trends of moving out into the suburbs. Many people are looking to get away from the big cities and into the quiet slower paced life of the suburbs. The lifestyles of the suburbs portrayed in television shows since early episodes of “Leave it to Beaver” in the 1950s to the modern 1990s show “Home Improvement” show a hard working American family trying to live the ideal life with their families. Also, the suburban lifestyle is more supportive of the family environment. The friendly neighborhoods, low crime rate, and the secluded environment of the suburbs all support this.
In conclusion, these are two very opposite ways of living out the American dream. Some people chose to live...