What American Dream? “The idea that we are the greatest people in the world because we have the most money in the world is ridiculous. Wait until this wave of prosperity is over! Wait ten or fifteen years! Wait until the next war on the Pacific, or against some European combination! ... The next fifteen years will show how much resistance there is in the American race. There has never been an American tragedy. There have only been great failures.” Fitzgerald uttered these words to an interviewer, sent to talk with one of the great writers of the 20th century, two years after The Great Gatsby was published. Two more years passed, Wall Street crashed, another great American failure. While some in Fitzgerald’s own time thought this outlook gloomy, as well as impossible, sitting in the relative comfort of the 21st century we know better. Fitzgerald noticed the greed of the people and the common practice of living outside their means; he also noticed how this could ruin America and all that we used to be. The Great Gatsby is known by many as a poignant insight into the ruin of the American dream, but these same people may be surprised to learn that when writing The Great Gatsby, the term ‘the American dream’ did not exist. That was not to become commonplace until 1931 in James Truslow’s The Epic of America (Churchwell). One fact remains as true today as the day Fitzgerald put his finishing touches on The Great Gatsby; money is the true corrupter. Fitzgerald saw this truth before the stock market crashed and before we put a name on the American dream. Using symbolism, F. Scott Fitzgerald warned America of what was to come if we didn’t turn away from greed and the all encompassing corruption of money. Perhaps the first character to analyze should be Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby’s one, but ultimately heartless, love. To me, Daisy represents money, the dream that the 99% strived for. She does not really care about anyone, she does whatever suits her. Like money, she is heartless, yet the object of many men’s desires. Fitzgerald physically describes her like money as well; “…full of money—that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song in it” (Fitzgerald 127). No one in Daisy’s life treats her as a person or sees her as she truly is; like money, she is just an object. To Tom, she is the wife he can always go back to, a trophy and the person society expects him to be with. To Gatsby, she is the young girl he met and fell in love with before the war. Just like money, people are blinded to Daisy and what having her truly does to you. Both men go to great lengths to keep her; in a sense, Tom kills to have her. It isn’t Daisy they really love or want, but the idea of her; as with money, it’s everything she can bring you. While reading The Great Gatsby, the audience is well aware of the class differences in this 1920’s society, even if Gatsby is not. Gatsby symbolizes the 99%, those who don’t have money but wish they did, who want the lavish lifestyle of the upperclass. Typical of someone driven by greed, he does immoral things to get his dream. Gatsby’s business dealings show how far he is willing to go to secure Daisy, and by extension, money. That is not to say that Gatsby is an immoral man, he is human, and like most of the 99% does whatever necessary to secure his wealth. Tom Buchanan is the character who I think represents something very interesting; both the corruption of wealth and the idea that those who strive for this ‘American dream’ will never reach true satisfaction. That idea works very well for the relationship between Tom and Daisy; “I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, in my heart I love her all the time” (Fitzgerald 138). In the end, people will always choose money, they will always go back to that corrupt seductress. Myrtle was something on the side, a distraction, but she could
The American Dream
What is the “American Dream?” Is it a big lawn, a white picket fence, and 2 kids? Or is it what our ancestors came here for? They came here for a chance at a better life. They came here for a freedom that could not be found anywhere else. They came here for life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Some 200 years after our country was founded, we are still striving for the “American Dream.” The question is, are our ideals of the American Dream still attainable for everyone in…
The American Reality
The Great Gatsby has easily become one of the most analyzed pieces of literature since its publication in 1925. Set in the early 1920’s, The Great Gatsby captures a time where anything seemed possible and obtainable, a time where reform and progression were constant and steady. This idea is something that Fitzgerald definitely carried over into The Great Gatsby, since the majority of the characters spend all of their time and effort to achieve their interpretation…
Death of a Salesman
Why come to America? What does America really have to offer, one may ask? What sets America aside, and makes it different from other nations around the world? The “American Dream” simply answers all of these questions.
In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Willy Loman, a man hopelessly chasing the “American Dream”, is unsuccessful in his journey to “paradise.” The “American Dream” is the belief that through hard work, patience, and courage, one can achieve success 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…
Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' he proves the American dream to be nothing people pretending to be something they're not in hopes of a better life. So is the American dream still a living dream today? Well you would think it would be because you still hear some people still talk about it here and there, so that's what I hoped to find out. Here are some things I discovered in the process.
It seems the American dream is very popular in American Literature. While it is quite popular in others 'The…
The American dream is the reason why thousands of people come to America in order to achieve their dreams of a better life and success. In America people can become success or never reach their goals this is the reality of the American dream, which most people do not reach their goal. The dream is supposed to be fair for everyone but certain circumstances make it uneven for most people and give advantages to a few. This belief of anyone can become successful make American appealing to many people…
Today, reality is closing in and shoving the American Dream out of reach. People need to
understand that the American Dream is still attainable even in this day and age, with prices rising
and jobs becoming harder to be accepted. Based on a few articles and visuals, the Dream is
difficult but very accessible to the average individual with a little hard work and commitment.
studies estimated the yearly cost of achieving the American
Dream with the price tag of…
People from all over the world have come to America, and everybody that has immigrated to America wants to achieve the American dream. The three main parts of the American dream are; new Eden, believe in progress, and the importance of the individual. For example new Eden is to believe that America is the land of opportunity that anyone can come to succeed and start a new life. Believe in progress is the believe that if we work hard will achieve anything and obtain the pursuit of…
The American Dream
:What is the American Dream?
:Where did it come from?
:How has it shaped our society in America?
:How do you obtain the American dream?
:Is the American Dream Dead?
“What is the American dream?”
The American Dream is basically opportunity. Every American has the same opportunities, whatever your dream, it is achievable. Ephesians 3:20 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than…
God Bless the USA; where Americans Have a Dream
What’s the American Dream? The American Dream is frequently something that humanity marvels about. They’re so many so many different perspectives of this dream. Significantly, this dream is of stability in all eras. The American Dream is the unity in which lives should be superior, richer, and fuller for all. Each individual of the American society has the fullest viable possibility to accomplish the dream against all odds; however, the work…