The American Dream
“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it is possible to achieve the American dream” (Tommy Hilfiger). The American dream is tailored to the individual and to achieve this dream one must put forth effort. As seen in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, and John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars, the American dream revolves around the individual and most will reciprocate action in order to achieve this dream.
And although there is a significant gap in the time period between the setting of both novels, one can see, with the simple interpretation of the American dream in both novels, that time does not limit the American dream for it is ever-present and encompasses a large range of goals.
Nick’s American dream from The Great Gatsby is depicted as dream of achieving happiness. For example Nick exclaims, “And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler... And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer”(Fitzgerald 10). Nick is a simple man who may look at things with a demeanor of the glass half full, he sees the better things in life. Although many think the only way to be happy is to be rich, Nick gets simple joys by things like making a friend.
Furthermore Nick thinks, “I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove”(Fitzgerald 86). Nick does not solely base his happiness on wealth like others, he
!2 wants more in life than just that. He also finds himself liking New York and he takes the time to enjoy his life. In conclusion, “Involuntarily I glanced seaward — and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness,” \
(Fitzgerald 36). Nick seems to feel a sense of loss whenever he is not around other people, a sense of loneliness. The green light may also symbolize a goal so far yet somehow achievable, like Nick’s struggle to achieve his “American Dream.” Every persons life is different, similarly ever persons dreams are different, however when many in this era dream of becoming wealthy,
Nick’s dream is simply his pursuit of happiness.
Similarly in John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel has a simple dream of having a life that she will enjoy. For example Hazel exclaims, “Please just let me watch
America’s Next Top Model. It’s an activity” (Green 15). Although watching T.V is a simple thing in many peoples lives, Hazel finds joy in following the show America’s Next Top Model. This can be seen as Hazel trying to achieve her dream of happiness. Furthermore Hazel declares, “I went to Support Group for the same reason... I wanted to make my parents happy. There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you’re sixteen, and that’s having a kid who bites it from cancer” (Green 17). Since her dream is to be happy herself, this implicates that to do so she might also want her parents to be happy as well. Although Hazel is the one suffering from cancer, her loved ones feel the agony of her illness, and Hazel will do what they want so that she can please them and make them happy as well. In conclusion Augustus says,
“Now, I’m not going to give you my Wish or anything. But I also have an interest in meeting
Peter Van Houten, and it wouldn’t make sense to meet him without the girl who introduced me to his book” (Green 116). Augustus Waters may have been a