The American Dream: Opportunity Essay

The American Dream is a set of social ideas of what the U.S. offers such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity. The American Dream is an opportunity and is based off perspectives; what happens to the dreamer when the opportunity is not granted? Richard Wright’s 1940 novel “Native Son” is about a troubled young man in his early twenties set in the Chicago’s Southside’s ghetto; he is unemployed and looking to find out who he really is. Fear, hatred, and racism are central conflicts, and it influenced Bigger Thomas, the protagonist, ravaging his uniqueness so relentlessly that his self-expression resulted in violence. Wright used Bigger Thomas to exemplify the effects that racism has on the psychological state of the African American victims. Through symbols Wright expresses racism and hypocrisy of the justice system as a negative influence on the dream of Bigger, the “Native Son”.The novel starts off with the ring of an alarm for a wakeup call for a family living in a rat-infested segregated community in Chicago’s Southside’s ghetto. The bell is not only to wake up the Thomas family in the novel, but a warning call for America if they do not change how they accept life from the racist viewpoint. Bigger is fiercely upset and angry that his family has to live in a one room apartment where the brothers have to hide their faces of the shame the sister, Vera and mother, Ms. Thomas would cause. He has been restricted due to the fact that he has only completed the eighth grade and racism in the practice of real estate forcing the Thomas family to live in poverty. The narrator states, “He shut their voices out of his mind. He hated his family because he knew that they were suffering and that he was powerless to help them. He kn…

… novel symbols were used to show how during the 1930s African American people were not granted the opportunity of the American Dream. In fact the author was born a slave and moved north to escape Jim Crow laws in the south. The south was segregated and the north was integrated, with African American people having limited rights. Wright implemented this through the oppression in the setting of the story. The American Dream is in fact an opportunity, what the forefathers dreamed of the country becoming is unknown. After slavery, things changed and the question will always stand is it different now? Not having the right to attend school is on the same level as if not gaining a quality education. Whether it is a right or not the American Dream should be given as an equal opportunity. Ironically, Bigger was the victim, because was never awarded the opportunity to dream.

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