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California Dreams and Realities

             I recently completed reading the essay "California: A Place, A People, A Dream" written by James J. In this writing piece, Rawls gives his interpretation of the "California dream", as well as identifies the paradoxes that are often associated with that same dream. Rawls begins his piece by noting all the positive connotations that are generally linked with the idea of the California life. He gives examples of how California is said to bring opportunity and success to its residents as well be "the land of perpetual sun". The essayist imagines his readers envisioning pictures of gorgeous tanned women, sunny days and cool nights and of course Malibu Barbie when thinking about the California dream. Rawls also notes the promises that the California dream is said to make as well as identify the freedom that apparently comes along with this dream. But instead of stopping there, Rawls continues. This time he continues with now looking at the paradoxes that are the California dream. The paradox of plenty is best described with the example of the gold rush; everyone came expecting to find tons of gold, all for them selves, but never thinking that others came with the same expectations. The paradox of growth is defined, according to Ralws, as the desire that people had for California to grown and expand beyond what already existed, however when such a thing actually occurred, people began to complain that California was overcrowded and that there were too many inhabitants. The paradox of expectation, as Rawls explains is a paradox where people are coming to America based on all the wonderful things they are told and all the beautiful images they see in the media. However when the population actually arrive they realize that California is not everything they expected and are there for disappointed in the state itself. Rawls finally concludes his essay with looking at both the paradox of the California dream as well as finding that the "promise and the paradox are at the center of the California dream.

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