To anyone having seen or read The Remains of the Day, the very notion of a British dream (be it anew one) may seem laughable. Well, is it ? And doesn't it have something in common with its glorious ancestor, the American dream ?
The British dream does in fact have a lot incommon with its American counterpart. It is a dream of material success, but not just that, it is also a dream of excellence. Mr. Al-Fayed, an Egyptian émigré in London, who incidentally never managed toget British citizenship, made it to the top there and became owner of the world-famous department store Harrod's. Thirdly, the dream is also for those born in poverty - and Mr. Al-Fayed is still acase in point here. Yet his failure to complete the naturalization process points to one major difference between the British and American approaches.
Should Mr. Al-Fayed elect toemigrate to NY, he would eventually follow in the footsteps of Ruperd Murdoch, the once-Australian media tycoon who is now an American citizen. This goes to show that, in this case at least, there's stillmany a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip'. Had he been an immigrant in NY, his very material success would have opened the doors to U.S citizenship for him. And there lies the rub - Americans loveother people's success, when Britons too often resent it. Proof of this is the rigid class structure of the British society. While most Americans, poor and rich alike, regard themselves as middle-classpeople, the British still have an influential (and well-provided-for) aristocracy at the upper end, and a poor, uncultured working-class at the lower end. Few, if any, working-class people are neverappointed Life Peers; no aristocrat is ever demoted to a lower position.
But this is not just about money and social class, it is also about values. The American Dreams extols "life, liberty, and...