Part 1: 1. Please read “Downsizing the American Dream”, by Marianne Cooper, The

Part 1:

1. Please read
“Downsizing the American Dream”, by Marianne Cooper, The Atlantic, 2015
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/american-dreams/408535/
For easier reading and annotation, I have also saved it as a word document.

The Downsizing of the American Dream, Marianne Cooper, 2015, The Atlantic.docxPreview the documentView in a new window

In this reading, we are told that perhaps Americans need to downsize their dreams, and proofs are offered from statistical links that show we may be doing just that.  I have always been told that America is number 1.  We are all familiar with the idea that when America speaks, others listen.  We see ourselves as the keepers of freedom around the world.  We provide a beacon of hope when disaster happens by providing materials and leadership in reclamation efforts.  What is the implication, then, of Cooper’s short article?  If she is right and Americans are just going to be content, indeed grateful, to tread water and just hold on to eking out a living, how will that affect our future?  What have you seen that intersects with Cooper’s way of thinking?

In addition, 

2.  Please read “The American Nightmare”, from Psychology Today. Mar/Apr, 2011 by Lauren Sandler     8 pp.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201103/the-american-nightmare

I have also saved the article without ads and pictures as a word document with page numbers for reference if you prefer.

The American Nightmare, Psychology Today, April, 2011, Lauren Sandler.docx

Please read and think about this article carefully for discussion.

 
3. Discussion Board — According to our journal articles, what is the state of America and its citizen dreamers?
Discussion Board Assignments:

Cooper says, in her article about readjusting the American dream to today’s conditions, that most of us will simply struggle to maintain the same standard of living as did our parents.  Is this the reality today?  If so, what is wrong with this picture, if anything?  Consider Black Boy and this new American dream Cooper sketches out.  What are the implications?  
 
If we are to believe the three articles we have read by Cooper, Sandler, and Kamp, what is happening to American capitalism and America’s ability to show entrepreneurial leadership?  What do you, personally, like about the system we call capitalism?  What do you you see as the most negative things about capitalism? Explain.
Sandler notes that some thinkers believe that civil society is on the wane.  We do not connect with others in church and civic organizations.  We have porches on our houses but no one sits on them and we do not know our neighbors in what she calls our suburban sprawl.  We do not know or care about our own community.  Is this lack of community a notion that Richard Wright was familiar with? Prove or disprove it.   Do you think we do lack a civil society in the US today?  If this is a problem, what will the ramifications be upon America and Americans? Explain.  

Part 2: 
5. Write Essay #2

In this paper I would like you to address Black Boy, part I, specifically, in some way. The rest is up to you.

Consider: we see that Wright’s family is unable to make ends meet in the world because of the system of segregation in the post Civil War south. Can Richard Wright make his dream to become a respected writer and intellectual happen in such an environment?

Maybe you want to relate his situation to that of Alexandra, who is subject to some gender discrimination.

You might want to look at the articles we have read and comment on the fact that our dreams may sometimes be unattainable. Who does get to have it all, really? Sandler will tell us that even if you marry well, get the job you want, and have the two kids, the result might be really disappointing. How would Wright react to this truth?

Perhaps you can compare Richard Wright’s childhood with that of the orphan, Ragged Dick. What is the role of race in the efforts of each boy to secure his future?

Find a topic, write and submit Essay # 2.  As always, you may develop your own topic in response to your readings or respond to issues brought up in class discussion boards.

In this paper I would like you to address Black Boy, part I, specifically, in some way. The rest is up to you.

Consider: we see that Wright’s family is unable to make ends meet in the world because of the system of segregation in the post Civil War south. Can Richard Wright make his dream to become a respected writer and intellectual happen in such an environment?

Maybe you want to relate his situation to that of Alexandra, who is subject to some gender discrimination.

You might want to look at the articles we have read and comment on the fact that our dreams may sometimes be unattainable. Who does get to have it all, really? Sandler will tell us that even if you marry well, get the job you want, and have the two kids, the result might be really disappointing. How would Wright react to this truth?

Perhaps you can compare Richard Wright’s childhood with that of the orphan, Ragged Dick. What is the role of race in the efforts of each boy to secure his future?

Please use direct references from our course readings and credit the sources appropriately using APA documentation. Aim for about 750 words, or about 2 and 1/2 pages.

I am also pasting the pointers I cataloged after reading your first essays:

In your introduction, please note the texts you will be referring to in the paper.  The thesis or main point that you will be arguing should also appear in your introductory paragraph.
Please note the sources when you use quotations in your work.
For some of you who are rusty in writing academic papers, try reading your paper out loud.  Wherever you want to pause, you should consider a comma or a period.  It’s a cheat but it generally works.
Sandwich your quotes with your own writing so you can show why you selected each one and why it is important to your argument.  You can put in a great quote but if you don’t connect it to your argument, I guarantee your reader won’t do as good a job as you would!
This work should be no more than 750 words, typed, double-spaced.  You must use some or all of the course readings and reference them as such.  

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