The United States is founded on the grounds of forefathers’ dream of material prosperity and freedom. American Dream is the ethos of the United States in which freedom is perceived in terms of opportunity to achieve success and prosperity. It required that everyone own both land and home, have opportunity to attend schools and enjoy a comfortable life. The belief of the forefathers was based on the attainment of the American Dream squarely dependent on people’s effort and desire to succeed regardless circumstances of birth or the social class. This spirit has existed since 1776 when the United State declared to be an Empire of Liberty and prosperity. It is also embedded in the Declaration of Independence, where all men are perceived to be created equally and endowed with some inalienable rights to pursue happiness and liberty in life. American Dream is quite subjective as it implies financial security, fame, material goods, exceeding social barriers on top of other forms of success and happiness. The pursuit of happiness was introduced in a differing and conflicting basis from the very beginning with private contentment and welfare of the public concurrently gaining priority. With such an environment, the dream acted as an attraction to the immigrants. America was perceived to be great with high level opportunities, freedom and entrepreneurship that people all over the world would like to attain. The successfully lured people into America by 18th century included the Italians, Russians, Poles, Greeks and Irish. In many countries complete image of freedom is still embodied in the “American Dream” and citizens may not be enjoying freedom to protest against injustice. The liberty in the United States is a reality obtained as a result of people’s mighty devotion to the “American Dream”. However, the same freedom guaranteed to ensure success may work towards an individual’s success or detriment as demonstrated in the work of Fitzerald and in ‘The Outcasts of Poker Flat’ by Bret Harte. The question that has lingered on people’s mind, however, is how to achieve success. There are currently diversified dreams and values that the Americans hold. Some dreams are fictional; some are achievable while others fall above their potentials. Some people aspire to become rich while others seek to provide solution to diseases. Some of these dreams are created by humane hearts while others are worked out as a consequence of human interactions. American Dream is simple in design and is concerned solely with family, job, car and a house. During the colonial period people were advised to uphold industry into labour ideology as the key to wealth. Apparently, this culture has changed and though the goals remain the same, as provided in the American Dream, they are not ready to commit their time and sweat for ultimate success. Instead, they have developed shortcut means in order to achieve wealth. They have effectuated different views on the American Dream and its common features to find people being worried more about the economic performances than their families. In lien of holding to the traditional work principles, the majority have pegged their hopes about what they find easy to get: money. For example, the quest for prosperity has led to growth of gambling in cities such as Las Vegas. There is a conviction that lucrative lawsuits, television game shows and lottery are the most promising means of becoming the affluent. However, some people are rapidly losing money during that process and end up suffering from the same challenging dream. Money seems to be integral for any success that a man would aspire to gain. The scholars doing researches on the American way of life have singled out people’s obsession for money. This has led to a state of capitalism, whereby the one who accumulates more ‘dollars’ is able to secure a better house and better vehicle, hence resulting to a boundary between those who are considered to be successful and those who are not. In his work, Fitzerald creates a character Gatsby, who tries to demonstrate the American Dream and the formation of social division, immorality of the people considered as elite along with conflicts of the society in the 1920s. Such division and pursuit of personal interest irrespective of their impact on others is demonstrated in 'The Outcasts of Poker Flat' too. There are different attitudes of the rich as well as the depiction of failures concerning the American Dream. Gatsby’s pursuit of his own dream makes him eventually collapse. The dream has shifted people’s mind into thinking about the end result but not the means of its attainment. People have lost the real meaning of the “American Dream”, thus nullifying the importance of such intention. We cannot be assured of happiness in life just because we have money. Success is definitely something good, however we cannot seek to acquire it “against all odds”. This is because it proves to be a potential cause of disappointment and pain as it happens to Gatsby in his relationship with Daisy. The reality portrayed in 'The Outcasts of Poker Flat' as well as by Fitzerald indicates that the American Dream is corrupted by materialism. There is a dire need for people to change their mind set in order to value the treasures that have currently become scarce and do not reflect dignity anymore. There is a necessity to develop suspicion of “quick riches” and become self-reliant through diligence and dedication to conscientious matters. The path to happiness and prosperity should be sought through civic virtues that allow an average American to achieve and realize his potential both socially and economically. New ways of doing things are emerging everywhere in America to promise a better life through correction of the wrong course that we have taken and finally holding to the right. American Dream also gives us the basis of controlling our destiny to achieve long-awaited happiness and success.

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