Sur American Dreams and Nightmares It takes no character to judge, but a sharp eye. The implication of a judgement does not necessarily have to anchor on the personality of the involved characters since individuals can judge others irrespective of their wanting lifestyles. Apparently, such a perception may be oriented to the expectations of the American dream, hence outlining the probability of the development of the American nightmare. The short story by O’Conner assists in the shaping of this perception. Developing a criticism against others needs to be anchored on the ideal virtues embraced by the involved persons. People tend to rush towards judging others when their own personalities are a reflection of the exact errors they criticize.
The case of the grandmother in O’Conner’s short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, articulates on how persons can be blind on their shortcomings but remain keen on exposing others. The grandmother has a library of challenges, but seems to be offering them a blind eye. Her opinions may be described to be oriented on the attainment of the American dream while in reality she is living the nightmare of the same.
She desires to present herself as being perfect whereas her shortcomings remain visible for all persons. It may be argued that the grandmother expresses double standards in reference to the rest of the opinions shared by others. The case of the African American child the family witnesses while on the way to Florida. She had cautions the children of speaking ill of their country but fancied the ill scenario of a britches-free child. She does not consider her excitement to mount to making inferior observations of her country.
Such incidents of double standards assist in the shaping of her life. The American dream was categorized of success in three critical areas that were considered to define the ethos of the people. They included a regard for the freedom of the people, a sense of equality and the eventual touch of opportunities for all. However, the quest towards the realization of these interests eventuated into the realization of the opposite perception of the same. It may be argued that the American dream was a good motive that was undertaken in an ill way after being embraced by hypocrites.
The lifestyle shared by the grandmother may be considered to summarise the entire concern. Achieving the American dream considered determination and a sense of social harmony. People were anticipated to share the expressions of victory and hope in regards to providing opportunities for all. Additionally, attributes such as the degradation of others, or discrimination in relation to the considered shortcomings were to be discouraged. Additionally, citizens were anticipated to cherish their freedom.
Such values assisted in the shaping of the entire package of the dream (McDonald, 78). However, the dream may be regarded to have been eclipsed into a nightmare. The freedom was abused with crime prevalent to the extent of persons living in fear in their free state. The sense of equality was dismissed by critics who were keen to expose the shortcomings of others, best exemplified by the grandmother in the short story by O’Conner. The perception of opportunities for all was turned into a myth that considered such advantages being shared among the elite.
The grandmother admits that indeed children living in lower sides are disadvantages by saying “little riggers in the country dont have things like we do” (Oconnor, 34). Such observations allows for the visualization of the American nightmare shaping from the American Dream. On that note, it may be argued that the grandmother is living the American nightmare that is guided by the virtues of the dream shared in her childhood. Her characters at old-age while being contrasted to her childhood perceptions allow for the shaping of the considered impression.
The modern generation seems committed to achieving the prospective advantages mentioned by the dream in their unique way. The family seems concerned with the utilization of the available opportunities through their trip to the city. The portrayed contrast in beliefs allow for the reflection on the ideal impression generated by the different citizens regarding the American dream. The evaluation of the population allows for the visualization of the depths upon which the American dream is regarded. Some members of the aged population, such as the grandmother, tend to belief that their period of living the dream are obsolete.
They instead propose and proceed to enforce the dream to their children and those that found their community. The younger generation seems to appreciate little about the dream, instead focusing on the avenues that may better their livelihoods (Obama, 26). The implication of the entire perception remains best captured under a composition of persons of different interests and aspirations. In conclusion, the work of O’Conner assists in the shaping of the path upon which the American dream was transited into being its nightmare.
Characters such as the grandmother assists in shaping the path via their double standard approach to life. Their interest in judging the rest of the population without paying attention to their hypocritical lifestyles remains the best reference to the verification of the transition of the American dream. For the dream to succeed, persons need to learn the art of developing criticism against others. Prior to criticizing others, it is ideal to ensure that the considered virtues are upheld by own self. Work cited McDonald, Oonagh. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Turning the American Dream into a Nightmare.
London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2012. Print. Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown, 2013. Internet resource. Oconnor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Unknown, 2010. Print.
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