The American Dream-There are no children here

Topics: Poverty, Gang, Illegal drug trade Pages: 4 (1338 words) Published: December 1, 2013
The struggle behind achieving the American Dream
“Over the years, as the economy declines, the number of Americans living month to month has soared. At this point millions of Americans are living without any financial cushion whatsoever. If you can believe it, a recent survey in 2010 found that 28% of all Americans do not have a single penny for emergencies. Another survey found that 42% of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck” stated an article on the blog, End of the American Dream. To me, the American Dream means one has the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. Recently the American Dream has been hard to achieve because of factors such as poverty, gangs, drugs and crimes. Many young Americans also drop out of school at a young age to either support their own children or help support their families, which makes it more difficult to achieve the American Dream due to a lack of money and education. In There are No Children Here, by Alex Kotlwitz the characters have a difficult time achieving the American Dream because they become young parents, abuse drugs, and become involved with gangs.

One reason it is difficult for characters in this book to achieve the American Dream is that many of them are becoming parents as a young teen. Lajoe Rivers, mother of Pharoah, Lafeyette, and 5 other children, financially supports her family alone, with occasional help from the government and her husband, Paul. Lajoe struggles to provide adequate food and clothing for the children, usually living month to month on the money she receives from financial aid, but manages to get by with the help of financial assistance. Lajoe’s financial struggles are partly a result of her becoming a teenage parent. For example, many characters, such as Lajoe, had their first child at age 14, eventually having large families that would be rather difficult to support even for a middle class family with two parents, let alone...
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