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ACTION !

The song deals with the American Dream, and how hard you have to work when you immigrate to America to fulfil your dreams. It refers to the possibilities available to make money and to make this land your new home.
N1 : What were / are peoples reasons for emigrating ? People

(immigrants) were yearning to live in an open society, where they would become wealthy = well-off and could afford expensive materials and clothes. They were dreaming of being treated on an equal footing, hoping that in America, they could overcome the social barriers. They were longing to climb the social ladder overnight and to start from scratch and leave their previous lives behind once on American soil.
N2: Who built America?

America was built by destitute people ( people who were poverty-stricken) / people who lived in dire straits with very harsh living conditions. They had little income and were hoping for a higher standard of living and better prospects. They tried to achieve success in America. Today, the new generations should pay tribute to the immigrants who came during the waves of immigration. It is thanks to a working-class labour force that America was built. In spite of their tough jobs in factories /plants, the immigrants tried to integrate into a society which praises hard work, but where white collar workers are still in charge.
N3 : What is Bruce Springsteens vision of America? To what exent would you say immigrants

Bruce Springsteens vision of America is jingoistic and definitely idealised. Although the lyrics are stereotyped and biased, his vision is still alive nowadays among immigrants. Immigrants were attracted to a land where job opportunities and better living conditions seemed to be available to anyone. However, the American Dream became a reality for very few of them, and many remained poverty-stricken and had to face appalling social conditions in America. Their dream was seldom fulfilled and they had to accept low wages and tough jobs to make a living there.
believed in a myth ?

Push factors

Pull factors

( Awful / dreadful/appalling ) social conditions (low) wages / low-paid jobs Prospects : perspectives davenir Unemployment = joblessness Poverty-stricken / destitute / needy Verbs and expressions: Cant stand sth / V-ing (ne pas supporter) =/= put up with /V-ing (supporter)

Magnet : aimant Higher standard of living Income: revenu Hope for a better life Job opportunities

Verbs and expressions: To dream of sth/ V-ing To hope for sth/ V-ing To long for sth/ to do sth = avoir trs envie de quelque chose To yearn for sth / to do something = desirer vivement Look forward to sth / V-ing = se languir /attendre avec impatience Succeed in V-ing = manage to V : russir