The American Dream

Le rêve américain

 house, car, children, job, money, eduaction


money power

freedom, independance

cars, baseball

wealth, status

rags to riches, prosperity

sucess, money, happiness

opportunity, gold, self

work hard, make money, own home, career, marriage

expansion, freedom, wealth

bullshit, work

picket fence, lawn, family

money, house, car, dog


money, family

non-existant, capitalism, land-owner

money, car, travel, house

picket fence, apple pie, family

opportunity, chance

lie, immigration, holy grail

family unity, wealth

garbage, idealism


self-starter, motivation, chances

money, freedom, liberty

unreasonable, foolish

dog, car, food

success, "rags-to-riches"

 absurde, utopie, communisme

grandeur, liberté

richesse, pouvoir

chercheur d'or , désillusion , golden boys

melting pot, assimilation, influence mondiale


Liberté, fortune, famille



travail, argent, loisir


utopie, imagination

seul,partir de rien,argent

illusion, immigration


absurde, utopie, communisme

cinéma, action, grandeur

réussite sociale,libre entreprise

ascension, richesse

réussite, argent, maison

american pie, une grande illusion,

liberté,réussite, travail


maison, voiture, argent


utopie, melting pot, réussite

New-York Los Angeles

argent, bonheur

argent, entreprise


The word mainly used in French and in English is "money". It Appears several times in both answers of the questionnaire. We can see two categories of answers. The first one is made of explanations of the American dream (work, fortune, family, dog (!)). This one is quite rational and there is no point of view in it. Sometimes, we can notice a good connotation, as in the French "réussite" or the English "success" that shows us than anyone has a chance. It is the same case with words like "self-made", "happiness", "opportunity", "chance". We can see that there are still people believing in it (in France and in the U.S). There is now the second category: people who don't believe in it. They are people answering "utopie", "bullshit", "holy grail", "garbage", "illusion", "désillusion", "imagination", "ridicule". There are no chances left in those answers for the American dream, that is seen as an American Utopia. We notice that those ones are mostly French people. However, It is strange for a Frenchman to see that some American people don't believe in it anymore. It is strange because the American dream seems to be a part of every American people. That's why I wonder if it is a general tendency or not.

salut, Je trouve cela très étrange que les Américains ne croient plus vraiment à leur Rêve (on trouve pour le qualifier les mots "Bullshit", "foolish", "garbage" ...). Alors qu'au départ, cela pouvait être une grande idée ("Freedom"). Avez-vous perdu confiance en l'avenir ou le rêve Américain n'est plus qu'une illusion du passé? A bientôt

Les mots les plus fréquemment employés sont chez nous: argent,richesse,liberté et utopie ; et chez les Américains ce sont: money,car et family. Ce qui ressort de cette association de mots est que les Français ont une image beaucoup moins proche de la vie de tous les jours du rêve américains: le mot famille par exemple n'a jamais été evoqué par les Français. Les Américains ont une vision plus réaliste: maison, voiture,famille et même le chien. D'autre part, le rêve américain semble être quelque chose d'inaccessible pour les Français à l'opposé des Américains: le terme fréquemment employé "utopie" le prouve. Cela provient sans doute du fait que le rêve américain est uniquement représenté par une réussite financière énorme, donc rare chez les Français. L'expression "rags-to riches" est apparue deux fois, quelle en est la signification svp?

Hello! In response to your question about the expression "rags to riches," I think that the idea expressed by this term is that one can begin with nothing more than motivation and build a life for oneself in a place like America. A beggar can make something of himself as long as he has the will and motivation to do so - he can become rich even though he only starts off with rags. This is the core of the American Dream idea - that America is a place of opportunity that offers that chance to all who desire to try. Of course, whether this is actually true or not is different story.

Nous associons principalement le rêve américain à l'argent. Certains d'entre nous, pour qui l'Amérique a un aspect superficiel, considèront cependant ce rêve américain comme utopique. Et on constate que certains d'entre vous sont du même avis !! Quoi de plus surprenant pour des personnes réputées pour leur nationalisme ! L'Amérique n'est plus ce qu'elle était. Nous remarquons également que la famille, la maison, la voiture, le chien sont des élèments caractéristiques permanents du rêve américain. La famille et ce qui l'entoure, sont-ils encore, à ce jour, un rêve pour vous ?


I feel that "The American Dream" is really a bad stereotype and is obsolete for most Americans today, especially those which were born here. The American Dream signified the ability of Immigrants from poor countries to came to this country with no money, and by working hard and with a little luck, they would earn enough to buy a home, raise a family, and live a comfortable life. I don't think it necessarily meant that one had to become rich and famous as is the stereotype. I really don't even think about the "American dream" at all. I only think about getting a job that will support me and my family at a comfortable level, not a millionaires level. Even in America happiness is more important than money, and I think that rich people have alot of their own problems! I wonder what the reve Francais would be....Is there a reve Francais??? Je voudrais savoir!


Tout d'abord, je m'excuse mais sur mon clavier, il n'y a pas d'accent, aussi j'espere que tu n'auras pas trop de mal a comprendre. Commumememt, il n'y a pas de reve francais. Ce n'est pas une expression usuelle comme l'est "the americam dream". De plus, en France, il n'y a pas d'entites "dignes de ce nom" auxquelles on pourrait s'identifier. Pour vous, il y a des vedettes, des personnes mondialememt connues, qui montrent leurs grandes proprietes, leurs richesses... En France, les personnes riches et celebres, ont tendance a se cacher. Ce n'est pas si ostentatoire. Cependant, pour un certain nombre de personnes, nous avons a coeur de reussir notre vie, en travaillant, et en reussissant a integrer les grandes ecoles par exemple, qui sont actuellememt assez appreciees.

I think the American Dream is still alive. But there is also the idea of "selling out". One of the French students listed Bill Gates in the word association for "reve americain". Especially at MIT, there is a lot of bad feelings toward gates, for creating an empire that is so successful due to being followed by the masses. It seems that once someone has become too successful, and too mainstream, their success is no longer as admirable. They have "sold out", and are no longer following their own dreams.

As far as Gates "selling out" goes, are you sure? Depending on the stock market the man is worth more than most of us can imagine. In interviews he cites this and says "Why would he keep working as hard as he is if he didn't want to make a difference in the computer industry". The leverage that Microsoft has changed the appearance of computing for all time to come. All someone such as him is doing is making their mark in history. My personal distaste for Gates/Microsoft comes from the policy of inflated, buggy, software(any company that cites that "some bugs are profitable" in their presentations is kinda sketchy). In addition, their success depends


on their ability to market, not necessarily turn out good software. I don't think that his level of success is the backlash for the american dream. He's doing what he wants and is really successful. If anyone represents the american dream, i would say it is him. His product and practice, however, have room for improvement.