Maya Lin, an adored architect, once said, “The American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom.” Lin implies the idea that the American Dream is what you envision it to be. She alludes that one's aspirations should not be defined by society or others. If one is willing to follow their dream without influence, the American Dream is attainable by anyone.
In a meeting with Gerrick Gonzales, on November 10th, 2019, he discussed his life’s ambitions and purpose considering the American Dream. American Dreams were viewed as a requirement for many people because it motivates themselves to live a successful, fulfilling life while earning achievements. Gerrick Gonzales shares how he migrated to America and embraced all the challenges. When asked what his greatest achievement is, he responds with, “Over the years, I have achieved many things in life both in business and personal. However, my greatest achievement is meeting and marrying my wife that truly loves and cares for me as well as my three lovely and beautiful daughters. It truly gave me a purpose in life and inspires me every day to be the best that I can be for my wife and kids.” Furthermore, he explains what his American Dream is saying, “At a young age, my family migrated to America as the land of opportunity (need to work hard for it). This was the best thing that ever happened to me and I embraced it with open arms and welcomed all the challenges. My American dream is to secure a high paying job that makes a difference to people while it affords me to provide for my own family and live a comfortable life.” Coming to America changed his life in many ways. Gerrick Gonzales’s aspirations inspired him to reach his goals and do the best he can every day.
In the novella, Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck writes about two vagrants who rely on each other to survive and achieve their dreams. George and Lennie’s dream of working hard and saving money to own a farm and “Live off the fatta the lan” exemplifies the consequential aspects in which the “American dream” functions as an admired ambition for impoverished and employed Americans, even in hardships. While all the farmers are in the bunkhouse, George attempts to sidetrack everyone by offering to play cards. Lennie begins to complain, asking when he and George are going to possess their separate farm, captivating Candy's attention. George explains warmly, “We could have a few pigs. I could build a smoke house like the one gran’pa had, an’ when we kill a pig we can smoke the bacon and the hams… An’ when the salmon run up river we could catch a hundred of ‘em an’ salt ‘em down or smoke ‘em. We could have them for breakfast. When the fruit come in we could can it—and tomatoes... Ever’ Sunday we’d kill a chicken or a rabbit. Maybe we’d have a cow or a goat” (Steinbeck 57). The intricacy and details of the farm display George's strong desire for land. He demonstrates the vision of having his complete life with the people he cares for as his goal. The dream is still necessary, so one’s existence in America is manageable. Lennie and George portray the tenacious existence of trying to fit into society while pursuing their aspirations. Together, they hold onto their hopes in order to pull through. Even when they do not achieve their dream, it is what motivates them through tough times.
In the poem, Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou, she describes her former life and how it prompts her to conquer challenges as she chases her type of the American Dream. Written in the poem, Maya states, “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.” Angelou implies that in her former life, she has been tyrannized and intimidated by discrimination because of her race and skin color. However, she uses her diversity to keep her moving forward and discovers the power within herself to get past all the hardships and brutality. Others will feel empowerment because of her journey, to accomplish their aspirations in society. Anyone can achieve their American Dream if they look past their challenges they faced and begin their own new journey.
To achieve one's dream, people must imagine what their ambition is to them. People should not be manipulated to believe others’ dreams for their own. The American Dream is what a person pursues from their own choices. Having an unburdened path to reach a purpose will always have challenges and hardships, but to keep progressing, one must believe to have the freedom to dream.