Premises and Essential Questions: How do we define the American Dream? Is it mon

Premises and Essential Questions:
How do we define the American Dream? Is it money? Or: equality, mobility, love, freedom, pleasure, belonging, aspiration, education, community? Something else?
How do cultural texts (novels, films, essays, documentaries) present the American Dream and people’s various access to it? Do they celebrate it, critique it, attempt to redefine it?
How do class, gender, ethnic, educational, geographical, or professional identities determine access to the dream? Is “grit” or hard work sufficient to achieve it? Is being born rich or well connected a guarantee of it?
To what extent is the American Dream still a useful concept? Does the concept need revision?
Assignment Prompt:
Write an essay that answers this question: Is the American Dream still relevant to me and my generation? How, how not, or to what extent?
Use a non-fiction source (an opinion or commentary article) to help you define the “American Dream.” You will argue for or against that definition’s usefulness or rightness.
To exemplify your argument, you will refer to at least two “cultural” texts: (1) The Great Gatsby and (2) a second “cultural” text of your choice. The second text can be a novel, a film, or a documentary. Or: propose one!
OPTIONAL: Beyond the above, you are allowed to use evidence from your personal experience.
Essential Writing Skills: (See Rubric for fuller descriptions.)
Ideas: The essay clearly defines the American Dream and takes a stance on it that is explored throughout.
Development: Evidence (from various texts) is richly described or quoted and analyzed for thematic implication. Evidence fleshes out, details, and explores the central concept.
Organization: The larger argument is cohesive with individual body paragraphs exploring a specific focus. Transitions aid in building from one stage to the next of the argument.
Voice and Style: The writing is engaging and vivid. There is evidence of purposeful technique, including sentence variety. Word choice is purposeful and effective.
Mechanics: Correct syntax and punctuation. Correct MLA citations and works cited.