Svilana Lyubymova
Pages 173-186


The starting-point and the goal of every human being is pursuit of happiness. Though varying individually, understanding of happiness is rather unified in the world. The purpose of this paper is to outline principal aspects of a stereotypic “American dream” in the frame of modernity. Since Jefferson outlined a well-being through “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”, the model of welfare, that was expressively named by Adams “American Dream”, has changed to obsession with heavy materialist acquisition and perpetual search for carnal pleasures, eternal youth and beauty. Perceived nowadays as a stereotypic pattern of happiness, “American Dream” comprises material comfort, consumer self-indulgence, conformity, and standardized beauty as well. The shift in significance of obtaining happiness occurred in prosperous “Jazz Age”, when American nation threw into extravagancy and indulgence of intense pleasures, attractively depicted in Hollywood films. Much criticized in mass media “American Dream” remains the utmost formula of happiness, as it embodies the ideal of prosperity, success, and an upward social mobility, achieved through a hard work.