First-Year Writing–Essay #2
Class and the American Dream
Aja, et al., “From a Tangle of Pathology to a Race-Fair America” Putnam, Robert, “Crumbling American Dreams”
Mantsios, Gregory, “Class in America”
Carnegie, Andrew “The Gospel of Wealth”
Chomsky, Noam, Requiem for the American Dream (film) Topic
Write an essay in which you examine one specific version of the American dream. Choose a specific version of the American dream that is depicted in one of the following: 1) film 2) television show 3) song 4) art work, or 5) poem. You an choose to focus on more than one artifact, but by the same creator (for instance, several songs by an song writer). Next, use any of our assigned texts as a lens to view that your artifact says about the American dream. What is your artifact getting right or wrong about the availability of the American dream according to your sources?
Here are the tasks your essay needs to accomplish
- Your examination will need to determine what constitutes the American dream in the artifact you choose. (In other words, you need to describe the American dream defined by your source.)
- You will need to identify how realistic this version is. (In other words, is it possible? If so, how? If not, why?)
- You should discuss how other cultural forces support and or work against this version of the American Dream.
- You should make use of information found in at least two of our assigned texts.
- You will want to paraphrase or directly quote from these essays to provide yourself withsomeone to argue against, or to support some point you wish to make.
- Your own personal experience should not be used as evidence in this essay.General Hints
- Be sure to start with a strong focused thesis. Set out to argue or prove something and then accumulate and deploy evidence from the texts to support your claim.
- The texts are your friends. Use them for support as to articulate a contrary position. Do not organize your essay as responses to the texts—you are not writing a book report. Instead, let your argument determine which text you use and when you use it.