Since the spawning of our great nation, the United States of America, there have been conflicting opinions as to what the true concept of the "American Dream" is and what it may mean to each person. To better identify the diversity amongst the copious answers, I questioned four people, all from different age groups, about the "American Dream" is and what it represents to them. These groups consisted of men and women between the ages of 25 and 35, 36 and 45, 45 and 55, and finally over 56 years of age. In doing so I was able to see not only a variety within the answers, but also the common principle that was shared throughout each of their answers.
For the age group of 25 to 35, I interviewed my cousin, Cody Fale, a 25-year-old college student. He actually had two answers for his definition of the "American Dream," one more superficial than the other. For his first definition he stated that every person wants "A mansion with an ocean view, a garage full of expensive cars, a luxurious pool, and every luxury a man can buy- which he categorized as the stereotypical "music video" lifestyle. But then he added that he thought that this frivolous lifestyle, although very alluring and pleasurable, was not a realistic dream for everyone to have. His idea of the more realistic dream would be "to have a house, a beautiful family, a great job, an abundant circle of friends, and indefinite financial security," a dream, which he also stated, was attainable for every American citizen. In asking him what this dream meant to him, he said that it meant having all the opportunities awarded us by our nation's Constitution, while also having the self-determination and intelligence to go out and get an education and to make wise decisions with the resources that you have.
I questioned Thomas Malmstadt, a middle school principal who is 41 years old, for the age group of 36 to 45. In his case the "American Dream" can be defined as "having happiness with your family and doing good things for others," or what can be restated as the simple things in life.