In Steinbeck's essay, "Paradox and Dream," one of the main generalities is the American Dream of owning your own home (paragraph 5). He states that Americans "hunger for a home." They spend their life dreaming of having a home in the suburbs or in a small, picturesque town. Of course, owning the home is all important, not simply renting a house. Also, builders advertise developments where these houses can be purchased, catering to the dream of permanent home ownership.
Paradoxically, these houses carry heavy mortgages that require a steady income. Even the appliances in the house are purchased on loans, and it is easy to become buried in a load of debt. Furthermore, these permanent residences are usually not so permanent; Steinbeck points out that "the American family rarely stays in one place for more than five years" (paragraph 5). Lastly, even if the house does not become a burden, a family will still sell the home to move up to a bigger, better version of the same house, perhaps even in a city. In this manner, the American Dream of home ownership is merely an illusion.