Standing Bear’s essay is a search for a lost dream, an ideal state that existed before the coming of the white Europeans. The Native Americans were natural to the American continent living in harmony with nature and animals. He calls the whites foreigners and aliens, this is because the white man came with a dream of his own and tried to impose his ideas and dreams on a people who had already existed for centuries in this particular land. In the search for the colonizer’s dream, the Native Americans were made to suffer endlessly abused and restricted, only some of their characteristics were accepted because it suited the oppressors. Now Standing Bear hopes and dreams that one day it will be possible that the majority of the people will accept the Native Americans as the indigenous people of America, its true representatives instead of just curiosities. However, at the back of his mind, he knows that this is just a dream and an idealization.
From these readings it becomes evident that the American dream is a state of perfection which means different things to different people; it is an ideal state of being which has different significance depending on their experiences and the experience of the race they belong to. For African Americans it is the idea of freedom liberty and equality; for middle-class white Americans it is about a sense of community and belonging, and for the Native Americans it is a quest to gain back the past glory and supremacy which was taken from them. Thus American dream is a search for an ideal which is not achieved as it remains a sort of perfection which is not easy to attain.
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