"American Dream in Literature." Associated Content. Last modified 09 January 2007. Web. 09 June 2010.
- Opportunity for recreation of self (Hrja)
- Belief that hard work will be reworded - Puritan Work Ethic (Hrja)
- Independence (Hrja)
- Success and happiness (Associated Content)
Hrja, Ivan. "Major Themes in American Literature". Jesuit High School. Web.
09 June. 2010.
Resources about The American Dream in Early American Literature
1. The Library of Congress. “What is the American Dream?” America Dreams. 2002. Web. 15 June 2010.
The theme of the American Dream relates to how people have embraced the new life in America upon the settlement of the America. In the book The Epic of America written by James Truslow, he refers to this term as “The American Dream is ‘that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each’” Adams in the time period I’m studying is about the great historic movement. This is the colonization of the Great West when new settlers were moving westward to take up free land, so to speak. At that time, the only known people on this continent were the Native American Indians who were affected by this era. The white people came to take over the land that we now call the United States. The settler took up land for plantation, which led to the industrial development. This time period also led to some Indian wars and peace. In summation, the frontier led to the formation of a new government for America.The main purpose of this website is to teach young learners study the history of America. It is a learning page that keeps references and collection of information on American history. This website is like a library online because users can actually chat with a Librarian. The site also is referred to as the American Memory Historical College. And, hey it’s the Library of Congress, and aren’t they a trusted organization? Of course, so I’m going to say this is a trusted site. The literary text this website used are information from source of trusted organizations. The links to the resource on this site provides us with trusted organization such as other educational institutions. The criterion used to define the term is based on the originator of the word. This resource was helpful and credible to me because of its content. It helped me read about history I may have overlooked in the past. The website is credible because it was designed by the Library of Congress. These are people who have extensive knowledge and research on our history. We look up to them and trust their information.
2. Cross, Gary. "Persuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion Over Four Centuries." EBCSO Research Databases. 2006. Web. 5 June 2007.
The review of Persuing the American Dream is very informative and well explained. It covers the book and the ideas and views that it has about the subject that is spans over four centuries. One great resource that gives understanding about those periods of time. The literary period covers the period of the slave movement and the idea of the American Dream during that period. It helped making sense of what various authors during that period were going threw. It kind of gave it a background and setting. It help give further interpretation of the texts to give more depth to the information. This site is credible because its apart of the EBSCO Research database for MCC library.
3. Cullen, Jim P. The American Dream: a Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation. Google Books. Web. 11 June 2010.
The main purpose of the website is to define the theme of the American Dream. The website defines the specific literary theme as dream of: the good life, becoming an individual, and the dream of equality. John Winthrop fits into this literary theme because his writings all contain these dreams. This resource is helpful in reading and interpreting the author and texts because this theme is apparent in both. The website is credible because it contains a section call Notes of Sources, or a bibliography. The author and publisher are clearly present.
4. Carpenter, Frederic I. American Literature and the Dream. New York: Philosophical Philosophical Library, 1955. Web. 15 June 2009.
This short article talks about the founding of the new world and the institution of a new opportunity. This new opportunity is described as freedom. This new found freedom is the ability to worship how you will, think what you will, and for the most part say what you will. This is the American dream. While the idea and concept of the American dream has always been present, it wasn’t until the 1930’s that this idea was defined as the American dream. The article uses a quote from 1654 that announced that the new land that would become known as the United States, would be, “Know this is the place where the Lord will create a new Heaven, and a new Earth in new Churches, and a new Commonwealth together.” The ideas of “new Heaven” and “new Earth” can be debated. No matter what the debate, the idea of the new world is that it is full of infinite possibilities. The new world was a virgin land without a people or government, according to Europeans. They believed it a place far, far away where they could live independently of the governments and countries they left. This is the idea of the American Dream. The concept of the American Dream is present in any work that is published in this country. The idea of the American Dream is that you can publish or say what you feel. Every author that publishes fits into the idea of the American Dream. This website is an online library. It provides links for fast research. This website lists the authors, publishing companies and bibliographic information of all the works they hold.
5. "American Dream." Answers.com. Web. 20 June 2007.
The purpose of the site is to provide various information on various topics. Although credibility could be in question, the information provided are more factual than opinionated. Also, information are referenced. The American Dream is defined as the hope for freedom, opportunities, and working hard to achieve a better living. The 'American dream' was first coined by James Truslow Adams in his book "The Epic of America." The site goes on to provide a history of the 'American dream' and the influences that helped develop the 'American Dream.' The page also mentions the significant people who also affected and developed the aspect of living the 'American dream,' such as the Founding Fathers of America. The page also provides a list of literature writing that expressed the 'American dream' theme. The American Dream is now broadly defined but always has that core meaning of freedom, opportunities, and a better living. -DR
6. Mathews Micheal. “Puritans and the American Dream.” Published Jun 01, 2006. 5 June 2008.
This website gives great insight into the American Dream during the Puritan time period where many people came to America in search of an inexpensive land, and a new and better life. Many people during the puritan time period came in search of religious freedom. This website is a great me a better understand of why the Puritans come over to America. This website is credible because it gives citation to the source of the information.
7."American Dream."Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 11 Jun. 2010.
This web site is used to show you the definitions of words from various (not just one) dictionary.
According to dictionary.com, American Dream means the ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. It also says that it means a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the US. This web site helps explain the easy/generic definition behind the term, it doesn't go in depth about why this started or why people started wanting it. This site just gives you the black and white of the term... exactly what you need to know to understand the term.
8. Puritan Belief and 'Manifest Destiny. End Time Pilgrim. Web. 5 June 2008.
This website discusses the American dream as it relates to Puritans and their beliefs. It goes into great detail about Manifest Destiny, which is the concept that many believe to be the dream for the New World in the eyes of the Puritans. This relates the New World to the Puritans deep religious roots. This is important to understand because the Puritans were one of the first groups to create a dream for the New World. This text is useful in providing insight as to what that dream was and how it relates to the creation of the colonies.I believe this to be a credible source as there are citations and it was written by a graduate with a master's degree.
9. Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 3: James Fenimore Cooper." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. Web. 11 June 2008.
This website covers everything from biography to major themes in Cooper’s writing, and helps better understand him as an American author, and his lifestyle and views. This website helped to identify Cooper’s literary theme in "Tales For Fifteen," but it will also touch on themes that he focused in on when writing his most famous pieces.
10.Haggins, Bambi L. “There’s no place like home: The American Dream, African-American identity, and the situation comedy.” Velvet Light Trap 1999. The Gale Group. Print.This article talks about the American Dream largely in context with what that means to African-Americans. However, it also gives a basic idea of what the American Dream means in general. The author talks about how for most it meant the belief that no matter where you came from, as long as you tried and worked hard you could succeed in America. Essentially, it is the belief that anything is possible. I found that this theme does not apply to my readings for Transcendentalism too much, however, it will be helpful in other readings. This article is credible because it has a stated author and it came from MCC Library Database.
11. “American Literature and the Dream.” Questia. Carpenter, Fredrick. Philosophical Library 1955. Web. 12 June 2008.
This web page allows people to view the book “American Literature and the Dream” written by Fredrick Carpenter. He says that the American Dream is hard to define specifically because it can have so many meanings depending on who is defining it. In literature it has always been a supporting force even if unseen. It has been seen as democracy, freedom, wealth, and many other things. This resource is helpful because he gives examples as to how the American Dream played a role in many different literary periods. It is credible because it is a published book that has citations and bibliographic information for its specific information.
12. “American Dream: definition and much more.” Ask.com. Web. 12 June 2008.
This website gives several definitions of the American Dream. It defines it as what people live up to and aspire to, and what people view as living a prosperous, successful, and happy life. It is useful because it gives definitions from many different places that can be researched to check for credibility.
13. "The American Dream." English Grammar Online 4U. Web.3 January 2005.
The American Dream in history was something settlers hoped for to gain religious freedom. In everyone eyes the American Dream is something different for each person. This website talks about each point, the historical view point, a basic definition, and the modern view point. It also has debates and discussions that are widely discussed right now.
14. "American Dream." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 11 Jun 2009.
The main purpose of this article is to give background information as well as to define the American Dream. The website includes information such as the origin of the term and how it has been perceived in recent years. The criteria used to define the American dream are a set of goals that individuals strive to achieve such as to get an education and also to live in peace and free of oppression. Another criterion for this website is ‘democratic ideals [that are] translated within the American context. This article was very helpful in reading the text that I chose because it gave a broad definition that was easily adaptable and also included how it can be adapted to the modern world. This would be considered a credible website because it lists several resources in which the information for the article was gathered from, as well as a list of other similar terms such as ‘the Australian dream’ for comparison.
15. "American Dream." Definr. Web. 12 Jun 2009.
This site is used to define and provide information about various topics. The American Dream is "the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did." This is abundantly clear in literature, especially of this time period. For example, Thoreau wrote Civil Disobedience about people's responsibility to stand up for themselves and rise against their government. He thought this would allow people to have more freedom and better lives. This made me think about the history of our country and the many different movements we have seen. Each time a group was dissatisfied, they rose up and made progress. We all live with the thought of striving to be better off than our parents.
16. Webb, Vincent. “The Destruction of the ‘American Dream."Mars’ Hill Online. Issues & Ideas,Vol 13, Issue 11. Web. 11 June 2009.This article discusses what the American Dream was envisioned by the Founding Fathers and compares it to how Americans live today. The theme of the article is that the basic freedoms and “pursuit of happiness” has drastically changed throughout the years. Americans now are more concerned with material happiness and aren’t finding the basic freedoms that were once sought after. This article also discusses the economic hardships facing Americans in today’s society and how this prohibits further freedoms to be enjoyed. It is an interesting article to read with a unique viewpoint on what is called “The American Dream” and how it has been distorted from the simpler Enlightenment period.
17. The American Dream Citation: Smith, S.E. “What is the ‘American Dream’? WiseGEEK. Web. 15 June 2010.
This site’s main point is to define and describe what exactly the “American Dream” is. Smith explains how the American Dream is defined and used in numerous but the gist of it the belief that people can succeed through hard work and all people have the potential to be happy. Smith goes back to the 1600s to explain how the term first came about. He also touches on commentary of critics pertaining to the “American Dream”. This website has helped me gain a greater understanding of the overall term and its criticisms.
18. Thomas, Richard W. “Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation.” Journal of American Ethnic History 17.n3 (Spring 1998): 127(3). General OneFile.Mesa Community College. Web. 12 June 2009.
The main purpose of the website is to describe the obstacles and views of The American Dream. It is said the American Dream has critical racial and class factors. The American Dream is viewed as American’s becoming rich and being successful while using their race to explain why they can or cannot be successful. White and black people often see one another as obstacles if not an actual enemy. “revolves around the fact that blacks and whites live in the same society, have experienced the same history, are affected by the same political and economic events, and yet see the world in sharply and increasingly different ways.” (Thomas, Richard W.) As Americans get richer they are not seen to become happier with their own life. This resource was helpful to learn about The American Dream and how Americans truly view it. It is interesting to read all of the facts as they are very true and it is easy to think of an example to fit the description or hardship of the American Dream. This resource was from the credible MCC Library website therefore I feel the information provided is accurate.