Type: Analysis
Pages: 5 | Words: 1384
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“˜America dream’ refers to the vision, which attributes to a land in which human life is fair, comfortable and abundant to each and every individual living within it. Also, it is used to describe the opportunities, which are availed to American citizens in respect to their abilities as well as skills. Notwithstanding, it is considered to be a dream, which a society is made to appreciate the achievements of its members regardless of color, religion or birth but rather on their innate capability as well as societal status. Within the “Declaration of Independence”, it is ascertained that men were created equal before God and were allowed such unalienable forms of rights as liberty, life as well as pursuit of happiness. In America, the degree of success is measured differently. This is because of the manner in which different authors who coined the phrase “American dream” define a success . The success is present through such facets as material gains, liberty, life and freedom. To be successful, one needs to be conversant with the American way of life, earn a fancier home, a good job, and family as well as possess the freedom necessary to enjoy from the aforementioned benefits without any room for infringement. Furthermore, one needs to learn English as is the case with Yezierska in her article “America and I”.

In the case of Hughes, in his poem “Good Morning” he narrows the sentiments of the “persona” who happens to be the main character in the story to revolution. According to him, the American dream is far-fetched deferred since each and every individual should be able to access the fruits of their labor. In the short story: “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”, Melville uses Bartleby as a character who enjoys his life without toil. Despite the fact that Bartleby grows weary and lazier, he still manages to eat and live wholly. He is employed, but chooses not to work at all, reasoning it; “I would prefer not to”

“America and I” by Anzia Yezierska:

In my opinion, the character in this story realized her dream. As a young girl, she knew that leaving for the United States of America was the only way she could ever achieve her long-term goals. She is determined to undertake all forms of works in order to accumulate wages through which she could initiate her projects. Also, she knew that unlike in Russia, in America she was going to be free and able to showcase her sentiments without any form of infringements. It is on this basis that I think she managed to fulfill the larger part of her dream. She says of Russia: “colors that never saw the light” meaning that her hope for a fair life in Russia was unachievable due to the level of hopelessness reflected in that country.

However, she is marred by different obstacles, which prevent her efforts to achieve her dream. The author uses symbolism as a stylistic device to describe both plights and obstacles throughout the story. The word “darkness” is used in many parts of the story to depict the challenges endured by the character at hand. Some of her challenges include the fact that she could not communicate well in English. One needed to speak and communicate well in English in order to secure both a good job and material things in that matter. The American dream was only availed to those who could effectively communicate about their needs at hand. Even after spending her time working for the “˜Americanized-Russian’ family, this family chooses not to pay her wages claiming that they had done her a favor since, in her situation, she could not secure a job anywhere else. The narrator’s working for the family is described as: “like summer vocation” and thus, was not subject to any form of payment. Notwithstanding, the character’s effort to learn English in the factory class is also marred with financial challenges since she could not be allowed further training without meeting her side of the commitment.

“Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”, by Herman Melville:

In this short story, the lawyer is perceived to be hospitable and persevering. This is because of his attitude towards Bartleby- his employee at the law firm. He does not seem to be bothered by Bartleby way of life and, instead, accommodates him. It is hyperbolic to indicate that the lawyer does not seem bothered by Bartleby’s behaviors even after the negative sentiments aired by the clients. Bartleby is not in any way interested in working for them, he sits idle on the stairs all day without bothering to assist his two colleagues, but instead, assumes his ” I would prefer not to” attitude whenever he is asked to perform a certain task. Ironically, the employer, lawyer, is impatient with his other two employees: Turkey and Nippers for their irritating temperament yet he accommodates Bartleby both in the office as well as his house. He tries so hard to understand him but Bartleby’s behaviors are transforming to be complex in the end.

As for my point of view, I don’t think that the lawyer succeeded in assisting Bartleby since him, finally, dies from hunger in prison. Despite the fact that he bribes the “turnkey” to provide Bartleby with good and plenty of food, he dies from hunger with his attitude “I would prefer not to”. When the lawyer decides that he has had enough of Bartleby, he relocates his office, but still goes back to look for him and offers him a place to sleep: he chooses to accommodate him in his house in vain.

The lawyer’s dream was to try and understand the manner in which Bartleby lived his life. For instance, he allows him to idle in the work place and goes further to allow his staying at the office. Instead of being angry and repulsive towards Bartleby, the lawyer goes ahead to accommodate him at his house out of pity and hospitability. As if it is not enough, he goes back to look for him, in case he was forced out of his previous office space. True to his emotions, he finds Bartleby imprisoned at the “Tombs” through which he bribes the “turnkey’ in order to avail plenty and good food to him. He later finds out that he dies from hunger. On that basis, it is safe to assume that the lawyer did not fulfill his dream since his expectations of understanding Bartleby were cut-short by the immediate death. The Lawyer is faced with such obstacles as imprisonment of Bartleby in which he is not able to access him in order to understand him. Also, he relocates his office in order to get rid of Bartleby in vain: he finds himself going back to look for him. The lawyer says of Bartleby: “”Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!” This represents a metaphor for all the failures.

The poem is about the injustices faced by the people of color in the United States. This people are weary of mal-practices subjected towards them and are thus, yearning for a better tomorrow, they need a revolution that will grant them freedom, which they need and also be allowed to enjoy their rights as citizens of America. The need to be free is compared to a dream that is deferred since it is subjected to immense atrocities. Through the lines “Out of Penn Station– but the trains are late. The gates open– Yet there are bars at each gate”, Hughes manages to expound on the obstacles, which are facing the train of revolution. The fact that the train has been started it has taken so long reaching its destination due to the obstacles put forth: the bars at each gate are symbols used to refer to the plights faced before the “new dawn”. A “dream deferred” is a phrase used to mean the manner in which the desire for freedom and equality is held aback. It is used to emphasize the obstacles, which deter the attainment of the dream, which disregards all the forms of injustices.

To sum up, it is fair to indicate that the phrase “American Dream” has a substantial number of meanings, which include freedom, material gains as well as such goal-accomplishments as the case of the lawyer in the shorty story: “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street”.

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