Introduction to a raisin in the Sun: The American Dream



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POLITICAL IMAGES of America as the country in which the Enlightenment philosophers saw the place where natural rights and natural laws would become reality, and where a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE that granted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to every citizen resulted in a political system that filled European serfs with admiration and envy.

These concepts and ideas laid the ground for what would come to be called THE AMERICAN DREAM but originally was a European dream of an enticing New World, often defined as “an asylum for mankind” which attracted millions of exploited Europeans who set out for an imaginary “America” in the hope of finding a place where they would be given a chance to improve their living conditions and to achieve their desired self-fulfillment.

 

The complex pattern of convictions and aspirations that came to be known as THE AMERICAN DREAM or, for those who searched for it in vain, as THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE of broken promises and frustrated hopes, can thus be subdivided into the following elements:


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