The American Dream Essay example

Words: 3103
Pages: 13

To achieve higher expectations of success than the previous generations, and accomplishing what hasn't already been accomplished, can be considered the overall American Dream. Generally, every child wants to surpass the achievements of their parents as a natural act of competition and personal satisfaction. Throughout The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and Death of a Salesman, there is a constant yearning desire to achieve the “American Dream;” whether it be reality or illusion. Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Miller, all portray the ideas of the American Dream relating to the time period that they are referring to. The strive to achieve a goal whether it be to be the wealthiest or achieve a great life by hard work seems to be the template …show more content…
Steinbeck views the American dream through the eyes of immigrants and their everlasting hope for a better future for their family. In the story, The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck reveals the common American dream of reaching California, which is considered to be the “promise land,” to all immigrants in search of hope for a successful life. The idea is that once California is reached, there will be jobs and the opportunity to work hard and earn the common items that all Americans want, which include: a fancy car, a nice house, food, and for their family to have a pleasant life. Steinbeck uses several biblical allusions in order to display the American dream in the late 1920’s. When Ma was speaking to the preacher, the preacher states, “Somepin’s happening. I went up an’ I looked, an’ the houses is all empty. I can’t stay here no more, I got to go where the folks is goin’. I’ll work in the fiel’s an’ maybe I’ll be happy.” (page 121) The preacher adapted the American dream only because he felt that this was the dream that everyone was supposed to have. His initial dream is to be a preacher, but he sees that everyone is moving rapidly around him and pretty soon there will be no life left for him to live, if he stays there. Instead of actually desiring the American dream, the preacher takes the American dream as a task that he must fulfill. In this sense, Steinbeck portrays the American dream as an illusion, just as Fitzgerald does in The Great Gatsby. The idea of the