The Three Essay

Submitted By lisihdz
Words: 1531
Pages: 7

The American Dream Since the founding of The United States, many have dreamed of coming to this great land to escape tyranny, persecution, and oppression. Over time, this desire has turned into The American Dream. The American Dream is different to everyone, and many authors express this dream through their novels. The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, and The Catcher in the Rye all expose the faults of the stereotypical American Dream that success, material possessions, and unrealistic ideals will bring fulfillment and happiness. Many people associate the American Dream with success. This association is exactly what F. Scott Fitzgerald made in The Great Gatsby and what Arthur Miller made in Death of a Salesman. Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship never worked out, mostly because Gatsby did not have much money, and Daisy came from a wealthy family. Now that Gatsby has achieved what he calls success and has bought a lavish new house he feels Daisy can finally be his. “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes” (Fitzgerald 96-97). Gatsby worked his entire adult life to acquire his enormous house and all the trappings that adorned it. These desires are the corruption in Gatsby’s dream. Gatsby made his success entirely for another person, not for himself, and it is implied that it was made illegally. Willie Loman, the main character of Death of a Salesman, always strived to be the most successful and well-liked salesman in New England. His dream was to make money to support his family well and be revered by all his colleagues. Willie’s fault was that he did not know how to achieve his goal. He thought that all it took was to be well liked by everyone and then success would come to him. “Because the man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest. The American Dream is a paradigm of American society and the iconic national ethos of the country. It embodies the core values of individualism, profit motive associated with free enterprise and hard work. The American dream is universal but through different times, it has often failed and collapsed, dismantling the values associated with it. The collapse of such values may vary as well as the extent of difference in every individual’s responses. Such examples of these are portrayed in JD Salinger’s book “The Catcher in the Rye” and a documentary by Michael Moore, “Capitalism…A Love Story”.
The American Dream promoted individualism in a variety of ways including the use of propaganda advertisements. However, these advertisements ironically promoted the purchasing of materialism that ultimately told people to conform. In J.D Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”, the main character, Holden Caulfield responds by openly rejecting the values of materialism that the American Dream offered. In a Post World War II era, propaganda advertisements used by companies highly succeeded. The American Dream of individuality collapsed as big corporations now controlled the materialism that people purchased.
Holden’s response remained rebellious to the system and could not conform to society’s values that were constantly forced on him. “Take most people, they’re crazy about cars…I don’t even like old cars. I mean they never interest me. I’d rather have a goddamn horse”, showed Holden’s response towards society’s popular materialism. The horse represents the image of the past where ideas of conformity aren’t as strong. Even though the American Dreams of wealth and education are given to him, Holden responds negatively towards it. “It’s full of phonies and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddamn Cadillac someday” shows his critical view of education. His response to this collapse of values in individuality differs greatly from other people, presented through behaviour of trying to