Neither statistics nor assorted interviews can give a complete picture, but the image they’re sketching isn’t pretty. Washington Post staff writers Carol Morello and Peyton Craighill, along with research analyst Scott Clement, used both methods to present an up-to-date portrait of the current state of the American Dream. Their report was published in the paper in September 2013.
- Morello and co-authors present divergent views on the current state of the American Dream. What is their own view? Where and how is it expressed most clearly?
- In the first few paragraphs, Morello and co-authors are painting a bleak portrait. Yet some of their interviewees present more hopeful views. What does the inconsistency contribute to the article as a whole? How do the authors balance these opposing pictures? Do they do so effectively? Why or why not?
- The authors offer several types of evidence about the current state of the American Dream. Which piece of evidence is most persuasive to you and why? Did any of the evidence seem unnecessary? Was any important evidence missing? Please explain.
- Read (or re-read) the essays by Cal Thomas and Brandon King in Chapter 18 of your textbook. Which of the two authors would agree more with Morello and co-authors? Why do you think so? Point to specific examples in the essays to support your reasoning.
- A variety of people were interviewed for the article. Imagine that there will be a Part 2 and that you will be one of the interviewees. Using this article and the interview responses in it as your They Say, and write an essay in which you speak to the questions you think were asked of the original interviewees. Imagine you are all sitting together having a conversation. How would you respond to their perspectives and add your own? Explain your reasoning.