American Dream Quotes

Quotes tagged as "american-dream" (showing 1-30 of 116)
Ronald Wright
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

Hunter S. Thompson
“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Alan Moore
Nite Owl II: But the country's disintegrating. What's happened to America? What's happened to the American dream?

The Comedian: It came true. You're lookin' at it.”
Alan Moore, Watchmen

George Monbiot
“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.”
George Monbiot

Malcolm X
“And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy - all we've seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don't see any American dream. We've experienced only the American nightmare.”
Malcolm X

George Carlin
“You're just another american who is willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick being shoved up your asshole every day... The owners of this country know the truth... it's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!”
George Carlin

Howard Zinn
“I've always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was if you were poor it was because you hadn't worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed.”
Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

“And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”
Christopher Poindexter, Naked Human

David Foster Wallace
“The assumption that you everyone else is like you. That you are the world. The disease of consumer capitalism. The complacent solipsism.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

James Baldwin
“People are continually pointing out to me the wretchedness of white people in order to console me for the wretchedness of blacks. But an itemized account of the American failure does not console me and it should not console anyone else. That hundreds of thousands of white people are living, in effect, no better than the "niggers" is not a fact to be regarded with complacency. The social and moral bankruptcy suggested by this fact is of the bitterest, most terrifying kind.”
James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

Andre Dubus III
“Dat's what they say of this cauntry back home, Kath: 'America, the land of milk and honey.' Bot they never tell you the milk's gone sour and the honey's stolen.”
Andre Dubus III, House of Sand and Fog

William S. Burroughs
“America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.”
William S. Burroughs

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“I live in a house over there on the Island, and in that house there is a man waiting for me. When he drove up at the door I drove out of the dock because he says I’m his ideal.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Winter Dreams

Nathanael West
“...all these things were part of the business of dreams. He had learned not to laugh at the advertisements offering to teach writing, cartooning, engineering, to add inches to the biceps and to develop the bust”
Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts and A Cool Million

Herman Melville
“I say, I can not identify that thing which is called happiness, that thing whose token is a laugh, or a smile, or a silent serenity on the lip. I may have been happy, but it is not in my conscious memory now. Nor do I feel a longing for it, as though I had never had it; my spirit seeks different food from happiness, for I think I have a suspicion of what it is. I have suffered wretchedness, but not because of the absence of happiness, and without praying for happiness. I pray for peace -- for motionlessness -- for the feeling of myself, as of some plant, absorbing life without seeking it, and existing without individual sensation. I feel that there can be no perfect peace in individualness. Therefore, I hope one day to feel myself drank up into the pervading spirit animating all things. I feel I am an exile here. I still go straying.”
Herman Melville, Pierre: or, the Ambiguities

Colum McCann
“Harry had worked his way through the American Dream and come to the conclusion that is was composed of a good lunch and a deep red wine that could soar.”
Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

Philip Roth
“The disruption of the anticipated American future that was simply to have unrolled out of the solid American past, out of each generation’s getting smartersmarter for knowing the inadequacies and limitations of the generations beforeout of each new generation’s breaking away from the parochialism a little further, out of the desire to go the limit in America with your rights, forming yourself as an ideal person who gets rid of the traditional Jewish habits and attitudes, who frees himself of the pre-America insecurities and the old, constraining obsessions so as to live unapologetically as an equal among equals.”
Philip Roth, American Pastoral

“My town, populated almost entirely by the descendants of white Christian Europeans, had few connections to the outside world, perhaps by choice, and so their resentments and fears festered with little reason to ever be expressed to anyone but one another. I don’t remember much talk of foreign affairs, or of other countries, rarely even of New York, which loomed like a terrifying shadow above us, the place Americans went either to be mugged or to think they were better than everyone else. That was my sense of the outside world: where Americans went to be hurt or to hurt others. When I got into an elite college, I took this small-town defensiveness with me, but slowly discovered that the world was actually kaleidoscopic, full of possibilities.”
Suzy Hansen

Ibi Zoboi
“But then I realize that everyone is climbing their own mountain here in America. They are tall and mighty and they live in the hearts and everyday lives of the people.”
Ibi Zoboi, American Street

John Cameron Mitchell
“I said to him, "Krystal, to walk away you gotta leave something behind. I'll marry you on the condition that a wig never touch your head again." He agreed and we've been inseparable ever since. And we'll continue to be. Right, Yitzhak?”
John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Richie Norton
“If you wait till you're retired to "spend time" with your family...by the time you get there, your kids will be working to wait until it's time to spend time with their family...and their kids will be waiting...”
Richie Norton

Elaine Castillo
“As for loving America or not loving America, those aren't your problems, either. Your word for love is survival. Everything else is a story that isn't about you.”
Elaine Castillo, America Is Not the Heart

“I have wept for my nation until I am out of tears. Not from a personal depression, but with the deepest grief and sorrow as one might have for a dying loved one who lays helplessly in the hospital. The patient in this case is our nation, America, but she is not so much ill as she is being euthanized...And so, being presently out of tears for the moment, I take up the pen.”
Daniel Rundquist

“Your money is your liberty. Without the benefit of the earnings of your own labor, you cannot be free. Insisting on tax reductions is the responsible approach to keeping government small (as it was originally intended to be) and maintaining the liberty of the people.”
Daniel Rundquist

“Strong and cohesive families are better equipped to raise balanced, intelligent, educated children. Government programs that encourage single parent households commit nothing less than cultural malpractice.”
Daniel Rundquist

“All of these things about America—the independent spirit; freedom and liberty to think, express, and act; the promise of the potential for prosperity—have all been delivered to American citizens by our Founders and Framers, and secured by American soldiers, sailors, and airmen.”
Daniel Rundquist

James Baldwin
“t can be objected that I am speaking of political freedom in spiritual terms, but the political institutions of any nation are always menaced and are ultimately controlled by the spiritual state of that nation. We are controlled here by our confusion, far more than we know, and the American dream has therefore become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels. Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility for (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and, internationally, for many millions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Phil Mitchell
“Whether you care about your children's future or just want to share in a stronger land, take a stand. Abraham Lincoln said, "Be sure to put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.”
Phil Mitchell, A Bright New Morning: An American Story

A.K. Kuykendall
“Welcome to our America. A land vastly different from what they want us to believe about her.”
A.K. Kuykendall

Maureen Corrigan
“Gatsby's fall from grace may be grim, but the language of the novel is buoyant; Fitzgerald's plot may suggest that the American Dream is a mirage, but his words make that dream irresistible.”
Maureen Corrigan, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

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