The American Dream

The American Dream

What does the “American Dream” mean to you?

The American Dream includes the promise of economic prosperity that has prompted people from all over the world to immigrate to the U.S. This scene presents us with the journey of immigrant families departing from their homelands and crossing national boundaries. The troubled waters and chain-link fence demark these boundaries. Monarch butterflies tear apart the fence and float away free. The migration of the Monarch across North America serves as a powerful symbol for many people who have followed a similar natural path across the continent. The families in the mural strive for arrival at a gateway city that promises job opportunities. However, the American Dream is illusory and the reality is working lengthy hours in factories for low wages under hazardous conditions. The spider web represents the entrapment of immigrants in a capitalist system that produces an enormous amount of wealth for a small number of people and perpetuates high levels of inequality and oppressive conditions for the working class. At the center of the American Dream, questions about what or who is “American” remain at the forefront of our most heated national discussions.

For more information, see Mural Dialogues & Tours.

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