What is American Dream


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Conclusion
  • 3 Works Cited


An American dream is a vision that aims at building a cohesive experience. It aims at the creation of equal opportunities for all race, gender, and age to pursue various tasks. The dream seeks to offer children same opportunities for education as well as a career without artificial barriers.

The rights of the citizen should be protected, and people should exercise their rights freely. The government should protect the people from domestic and international threats. The laws of the land should be enforced in a just manner. However, achieving the above dream is not an easy task. Hard work, dedication, patience, and resources are required. A specific strategy must be put in place to ensure that the dream is made a reality.

James Truslow Adams was an American writer and historian. He began his writing career after saving enough capital to enable him to shift his career from investment banking. In his book The Epic of America, he defines the American dream as a vision where the lives of all individuals are more prosperous, better, and fuller as opposed to the situation of the society at the time. In his dream, everyone was presented with the same opportunities based on abilities of the individuals. His vision did not entail acquiring motor cars and high wages but a social order that enabled both genders to attain to the fullest stature of which the individuals are capable. It also entailed recognition of people for who they are and not based on circumstances of birth or position. However, Adams’ dream has changed and what he thought the country would be has changed. The following are reasons why his dream has turned, and his expectations are no longer the reality (Adams 404).

Education expenses have skyrocketed in the current generation. Educating a child till she or he gets employment have become difficult especially for middle-class citizens. The government and other private school owners have taken the opportunity to exploit people in the name of education. The government has even come up with a loan program where individuals are offered capital to help them pursue education. However, there is an interest rate charged on every beneficiary of the program. As a result of this, students from average backgrounds have no option rather than acquire the loan if they have to finish school. The interest grows with time, and since these individuals cannot pay the loan at once even after getting a job, the loan accumulates burying them in debts and making their lives difficult. If the situation is analyzed critically, the conclusion is that the government is taking advantage of its poor citizen and exploiting them. When the government makes education cost high then takes advantage of offering those who can’t afford loans only to charge them high-interest rates, is a clear evidence that the American dream has changed. This is not how the visionaries projected the future to be since the idea sought to achieve equal education opportunities without artificial barriers (Canode 75).

The generation present is made up of two major groups; those who are debt-free and the others. The debt-free people are the rich who have many business operations all over the country. These are owners of the big corporations where the ordinary citizens work. They are the individuals who make the rules since some of these people are politicians or have political influence. These people are the real estate owners where the poor rent and they decide when to raise the rent or lower it. The poor on the other hand have to depend on wages for survival. Most of them work in corporations where the new technology is making them more irrelevant as time goes by. Due to the reduced labor demand, competition for the available jobs increases. This leads to low payment of wages due to the surplus labor. In order to survive, these individuals are forced to take up loans to fulfill various tasks. These loans are offered at high rates that make it difficult for the poor to progress economically. The American dream emphasized on equal opportunities for everyone, and since this is not the case, it means that the dream has failed (Callahan 267).

The citizens’ lives are prioritized in the American dream. People cannot perform various functions if they are unwell and weak. Therefore, proper healthcare services should be provided to all citizens. People should access these facilities when they feel sick not when they have money. The living cost has skyrocketed, and people are unable to afford healthcare facilities. Those who are employed have medical insurances. However, the medical insurance is unable to cover all the costs required for treatment. Due to this, people are forced to use their savings to carter for the remaining cost. The corporations on the hand are shifting the healthcare costs on individuals so that they can reduce expenses and increase profits. The income for these individuals has stagnated due to low demand for human labor. As a result of this, people’s lives have hardened due to increase in healthcare burden. The American vision aimed at an affordable provision of health services and the dream has failed to achieve the above (Canode 80).

A great emphasis is put on family welfare in the American dream. In the vision, the family’s needs should be met at ease where one parent can work while the other one takes cares of the children. The wages of the working individual should be able to satisfy the needs of the family without other sources of income. This is the projected American dream which it is up to now. Stay-at-home parenting is a thing of the past due to the high cost of living and low wages offered in the most working environment. Both parents are forced to work while they leave their responsibilities to other individuals. They do so with the aim of increasing the revenue of the family so that the family can be able to acquire the essential commodities required and invest some for future use. While doing so, the parent-child bonding has been lost and the relationship between the two affected. It is clear that the dream has not been actualized since the projected objectives have not been achieved. Therefore, the American dream has failed to meet its vision (Hauhart 148).

All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. As the saying goes, people need time away from work to refresh and involve themselves in curriculum activities. These activities help the individuals develop social skills to enable them to interact freely with each other as they spend personal time with their loved ones. During this period, people travel to different areas to undertake vacations and to refresh. During these periods, money and resources are spent as well as time. According to the American dream, people should be in a capacity to do the above. However, very few have the capability of undertaking a vacation. The capital available is insufficient for such expenditures. People would rather save than spend it for luxurious activities. People view vacations as wastage of time. Time in peoples mind is money since every minute spent doing nothing could be used to create wealth. Those who may be willing to undertake such vacations are finding themselves in a terrible place since the corporations they work for find it difficult to release them. The reason for this is when they are away, they will be getting an income they have not worked for. In order to maintain one’s job, people are doing away with vacations working throughout the year. Therefore, this shows that the American dream has failed (Callahan 258).

In the American dream, the governing bodies such as the government should be at the front line of ensuring fairness for all. These institutions should ensure that there is fairness in everywhere doing whatever is necessary to achieve this. However, this is not the case. The government is suppressing the small businesses by putting up regulations that prevent them from expanding or carrying out the expected targeted activity. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are unable to start up their ideas. Through this, the big and established companies benefit since there is reduced competition from the new businesses. Through this, the American dream is dying since these government regulations have increased the poverty levels and increased overreliance on employment as a source of income. The government should come up with ways make business startup process easy to achieve the vision (Hauhart 153).


The projection of the American dream has failed to be accomplished in almost all levels. People existing in the present generation are faced with many challenges that could have been addressed by the American dream. People are suffering in many ways while the gap between the poor and the rich have widened. The government that is supposed to protect everyone is siding with the rich in suppressing the poor. The reason for this is the fact that majority of those in the state is the rich and may fail to understand the struggles of the ordinary citizens. The fairness in education, health, religion, and ethnicity among others is yet to be achieved. Therefore, the American dream has failed in achieving its core objective.

Works Cited

Adams, James T. The Epic of America. 2017.

Callahan, William A. “Dreaming as a critical discourse of national belonging: China Dream, American Dream and world dream.” Nations and Nationalism, vol. 23, no. 2, 2017, pp. 248-270.

Canode, Jillian L. “Hunting the American Dream.” Supernatural and Philosophy, 2013, pp. 74-82.

Hauhart, Robert C. “The American Dream Critically Examined.” Seeking the American Dream, 2016, pp. 135-155.

The Phenomenon Of American Dream

The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that aims to express a critic regarding the American dream in the 1920s which turned into an age of extreme prosperity and materialism. The author portrays this era as a time where social and moral values decayed into cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure; a period where easy money and relaxed social values reigned.

The corruption of the American dream, where the desire for pleasure and money became greater than the more noble goals, is what led the character of Jay Gatsby to host exuberant parties every Saturday night in his mansion. Before the 1920s women’s main role in their lives was to take care of their husbands and children, but in the novel we can see that they become more interested in themselves and their place in society becoming unfaithful towards their families. Women in the novel are portrayed in a negative light to represent the corruption of the American dream. The two main female characters, Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, are represented as unfaithful, materialistic, dependent on men and, at the same time, objects of desire for them.

Both depicted as unfaithful and materialistic. Daisy Buchanan, wife to Tom Buchanan, is the woman Gatsby has always been in love with. The two had a relationship when they were younger, but, the war forced Gatsby to separate from her. Despite this, Daisy promised him that once he returned, they would be together, however, she doesn’t maintain her commitment and gets involved with another man. When Gatsby suddenly reappears in her life, she becomes interested in him again as he has now become wealthy and is part of the nouveau riche. Gatsby knows Daisy is interested in his money therefore, he takes her to his mansion to show her all of his properties. ‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘?It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before’ (Pg. 92). In this scene, the real essence of Daisy’s character is exposed as she starts crying for materialistic goods.

Fitzgerald wants to show that this behavior is not only typical of higher class women but it applies to all which is why Myrtle Wilson, who pertains to the working class, is portrayed in the same way. She is married to George Wilson, however, she feels unhappy about her relationship with him because they are poor, therefore, she decides to have an affair with Tom Buchanan who is of a higher social status. The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out. (Pg. 35). In these words, we can clearly see the importance she attributes to physical objects over pure feelings. She is also represented as a fool in that what she saw in Tom was a man who gave her lavish gifts because he was in love with her but really, he was just using her.

Although in the 1920s women had just been given the right to vote, the author chooses to depict their continuous dependence on men. Daisy is represented as a woman who is not capable of staying by herself. When Gatsby leaves to fight in the war, Daisy settles in with Tom because she needed a man by her side and was tired of waiting for him. She is financially provided by Tom and dependent on his social status. Her idea of the role of women in the world is cynical as in her eyes, women have no place in this world to be intelligent, only beautiful and stupid which is why she is disappointed when she finds out she is going to have a girl. I hope she’ll be a fool that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool (Pg. 17). As we can see here, she embodies the values of irresponsibility and detachment in her treatment of her daughter, showing how she has become careless and how the role of women in society has changed.

In the same way, Myrtle is dependent on Tom. He is her source of happiness because he can give her the wealth and social status that she has always dreamed of which Wilson will never be able to obtain. Even when Tom abuses her and slaps her, she stays with him and tries to go back to him for the sake of his money. Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand. (Pg. 37) Myrtle is yet again submitted by men when she is locked in her room by Wilson which portrays how men had control and power over their wives.

In regard to women being an object of desire for men, Daisy Buchanan is the character that best embodies this attribute as Tom and Gatsby constantly attempt to win her over. When the two men are fighting, Daisy isn’t given the opportunity to speak and express her feelings. ‘Your wife doesn’t love you,’ said Gatsby. She’s never loved you. She loves me.’ ‘She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me’. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!’ (Pg. 130). Through the entire novel Gatsby and Tom fight for Daisy because she is beautiful. It is interesting to see that even though Myrtle is not even remotely as appealing as Daisy, Tom still desires her and is able to obtain her with his money.

As we saw though the characters of Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson, women of a high and low social status are both depicted as unfaithful, materialistic and dependent on men. The reason why the author decides to emphasize these negative aspects about the women at the time is to represent how this social group was affected by the fall of the American dream. Corrupted social norms had repercussions on the individuals who abandoned their established role in society and became careless.

What Is The American Dream?

Imagine coming home from your dream job, driving an amazing car to your house in a wealthy neighborhood, to have your kids run up to the door to greet you. Wouldn’t we all want that? This is the American Dream I hold most valuable. To be able to live a comfortable, successful life, and to having a great relationship with your family
To begin with, one of the key parts of the American Dream for me is to live comfortably, and have a successful life.

In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway lives in a small house on West Egg squeezed between two gigantic mansions. He describes it as, An eyesore, but it was a small eyesore and [in] the consoling proximity of millionaires.(pg. 5) While Nick’s relatively small house was enough for him to live comfortably, Gatsby’s house was a different story. Nick says this about the house, (if you can even call it that) The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard- it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy It was Gatsby’s mansion. (pg. 5) The difference between Nick and Gatsby was what they considered to be comfortable. Gatsby, a bootlegger, made so much money that he threw lavish parties every week, for anyone to come to. On the other hand, Nick, a bondsman, was just content in his small eyesore. Both were successful and comfortable in their own way.

In addition to physical comfort, a great family relationship is the other essential part to my American Dream. In The Great Gatsby, we see how Jay Gatsby ruined his relationship with his family in order to attain his American Dream. When Gatsby met Daisy, the woman that he would fall in love with, is when his dream of riches started. He first met her in Louisville, while he was stationed at Camp Taylor. Gatsby is sent into World War 1 and Daisy was going to wait for him. Daisy, however, could no longer stand the wait and married Tom Buchanan. Gatsby hears about this and is devastated. Eventually he ends up in New York, right across the bay from Daisy’s house.

When he gets to finally have Daisy in his arms he says to her, If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay. You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock. Daisy put her arm through his abruptly but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever.(92-93) Sometimes your dreams aren’t what they appear to be. Gatsby had left his family behind to chase after what he thought was true love for Daisy when in all actuality, he was only in love with the idea of her. By reading The Great Gatsby, I’ve realized I need to value you my family and realize it’s more important than any dream.

The American Dream is what you believe it to be, everyone has different dream. As I’ve shown above the my American Dream is to live a comfortable and successful life, and have a great family relationship. After reading The Great Gatsby, I now have some examples to help guide me on my journey to my American Dream.

American Dream By Fitzgerald

The American Dream is a national ethos for the people of the United States in which they misinterpret the idea of attaining your own version of success no matter your history or current status. The American Dream, for most people was to experience success and wealth within their lives, but not everyone can achieve what they desire the most. The Great Gatsby by F.

Scott Fitzgerald is a book set during the Roaring 20s in a fictional city in Long Island, off the East Coast of the United States. The three main characters Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Nick Carraway each show a different interpretation for their American Dream throughout their own experiences.

Gatsby’s interpretation of the American Dream was that through any amounts of wealth and power… happiness will always be attained. Buchanan’s interpretation of the American Dream was to surround herself only amongst high quality material, to genuinely be wealthy, even if it does not make you actually happy with your life. However, Carraway’s interpretation of the American Dream was that your desires would never truly come about since you would never able to overcome your past, try to better yourself but remain meek.

Jay Gatsby is more so familiar as the fabulously wealthy young man who lives in a gothic like mansion in West Egg. From a young age, James Gatz or more commonlyprofoundly known as Jay Gatsby, had grown up on a farm in North Dakota and had worked for a millionaire for some time in his early ages. His background is of many mysteries only to be truly known by Nick Carraway.

‘It was a strange coincidence,’ I said.’But it wasn’t a coincidence at all’. ‘Why not?’ ‘Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.’ Then it had not been just the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor. (Fitzgerald 78).

This shows how even though five years have passed since Gatsby was sent away to war and later on involved himself in business he believed he would win Daisy’s love back from Tom through maybe great amounts of money. Gatsby had made huge efforts to be this close to Daisy and doesn’t want to blow his chance to be with his former lover again. This helped influence his mentality to achieve wealthiness in his life. His interpretation of the American Dream really kicked off with the first appearance of the green light.

‘I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone’ he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. 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 20-21)

From this we can see that Gatsby believed the greenlight situated at the end of Daisy’s East Egg dock was all of Gatsby’s hopes and dreams for the future. This shows how Jay Gatsby felt that he had a spectacular vision ahead after seeing the greenlight as it motivated him to try and relive part of his dreams with Daisy once more.

Daisy Buchanan is represented as one of the more determined characters who chased after high quality material and money. Tom and Daisy’s common denominator was money and an upper class position in society. Daisy did not marry Gatsby even though they were in love because he was a poor man. Daisy not capable of loving again, turned to chase somebody else’s wealth. Money might not make you happy, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.
In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago with more pomp and circumstances than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. (Fitzgerald 75-76)

This proves very well how the pearls or money generally made her marriage with Tom better and how she didn’t marry him exactly for his persona. Keeping in mind that Tom and Daisy Buchanan are known as having old money because it was inherited and never worked for by them. This connects back to Gatsby as a few moments later Daisy has an encounter with his mansion, Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. ‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such-such beautiful shirts before.’ (Fitzgerald 92) This quote tells us how Daisy is extremely materialistic, even though Tom and Daisy are wealthy, Gatsby is very over-the-top as he practically is showing off everything he has gained which really catches Daisy’s attention. Daisy’s reason for her cries over the shirts is because by the time she reaches Gatsby’s bedroom she is overwhelmed with the man that he had become, shown very distinctly based on his new wealth. Daisy can no longer contain her emotions with where Gatsby’s life has taken him five years later. Daisy is a good person indeed, but from what we have seen she seems to just be taking advantage of whoever has more money.

Nick Carraway, by far the more deferential amongst all of the other people that live in both East and West Egg. Mr. Carraway comes from a family that by far worked very hard and got little in return, but this only built Nick’s interesting/rare character into the story as he is perceived as the more standard Aamerican man living in the United States. I have an idea that Gatsby himself did not believe it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. (Fitzgerald 161) Nick presumes that the American Dream is inanimate as you cannot overcome your past. This refers back to Nick’s past as he was raised in a lower class family which makes him believe he will never be as equal as the people of East Egg. Nick Carraway doesn’t have an actual American Dream, instead he has just thoughts of what could possibly be. Alongside this, Nick seems to focus on Gatsby towards the end of the story more than he would of himself as he states, But all this part of it seemed remote and unessential. I found myself on Gatsby’s side and alone. (Fitzgerald 164) This quote sums up Nick’s outlook as it shows that Gatsby is only safe from Nick’s growing resentment. Nick is in pure disgust for all the other upper class for what happened to Jay Gatsby. Nick Carraway was by far the responsible type of man in this story, he always kept it realistic with everybody which is why he chooses the people that he would want to be surrounded by despite his non-wealth compared to others.

The American Dream is a national ethos for the people of the United States in which they misinterpret the idea of attaining your own version of success no matter your history or current status. Within the story, each character played a certain role in their own road to the American Dream whether it actually happened for them or not. At the end neither Tom or Gatsby really get Daisy, she kind of just took in all of the attention that she was getting and was satisfied enough with that. However, somebody like Nick Carraway did get a certain American Dream, to help others out even when you are not at your best. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was a book set during the Roaring 20s in a fictional city in Long Island, off the East Coast of the United States that was focused a lot on accomplishing the American Dream aside from protecting those you loved the most.

Classical Representation Of The American Dream

The Classy Truth

The American Dream holds several different meanings. The pessimists believe the American Dream is unattainable. The optimists believe that success is achievable through hard work.

And then there are the realists, who believe the American Dream exists only for the privileged, and therefore, has failed society. Through the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald illustrates the early American Dream from the realist perspective, highlighting how wealth and social status are the necessary components behind fame and success. Similarly, the article, Is the American Dream Really Dead? by Carol Graham, emphasizes on the fact that the American Dream is luck based and only the wealthy can afford to make mistakes. Furthermore, Science Tests the American Dream, by Orion Jones links both pieces by explaining how regardless of hard work and intelligence, those who are wealthy are always more likely to succeed. Through the use of different techniques, the authors all argue that the pursuit of the American Dream is largely driven by social status, and the achievement of this dream ultimately ceases to exist for those who simply cannot afford it because integrity and diligence are not accounted for in the path to success.

The American Dream is not guaranteed, however, only those who have the luxury to pay for their mistakes are granted the comfort of stability and have sustainability to keep trying, unlike their poorer counterparts. Upon seeing Tom after several years, Nick finally got clarity as to who Tom really was as a person. Nick marvels to himself at the sight of Tom, I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made (Fitzgerald 129).

Nick explains how the Buchanans do not have to take responsibility for their actions. They are not admirable, but rather people who disrupt society and do not have to pay the consequences. Tom could easily buy whatever pleasures he seeked, such as Daisy’s love, George’s wife, and Daisy’s innocence, at the expense of Gatsby’s life. When Nick explains how Tom could retreat back into their money, he describes how Tom had his wealth to protect him from any and all shortcomings and provided a sense of security from the people he had ruined. To further prove this idea, Graham talks about how difficult it is for the poor to advance in the social hierarchy controlled by the very few at the top. She focuses on the idea of chance, and how the American Dream can be attained not by work ethic, but instead by favorable luck. She emphasizes, There are high costs to being poor in America, where winners win big but losers fall hard.

Indeed, the dream, with its focus on individual initiative in a meritocracy, has resulted in far less public support than there is in other countries for safety nets, vocational training, and community support for those with disadvantage or bad luck (Graham 2). Within her article, Graham explains how the poor often have to pay for the same opportunities the rich take for granted, such as education and connections. In the Great Gatsby, Tom could afford to have an affair, as well as have the confidence Daisy would not leave him because of his money. Gatsby spent his entire life working towards having the life Tom had, but even still, he could not reach the same level of prosperity. This goes to show how those who start at the bottom and try and work their way up still may never succeed because society forgives and rewards those who are wealthier because they can continue to pay for their mistakes.

Ethics and personality provide no leverage in the road to the American Dream, however, those who hold a greater social presence will always be prioritized, and therefore, one step closer to achieving the American Dream. Nick was born into a wealthy family with opportunities most people did not have. Nick remembers to himself when considering his place in society, I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parceled out unequally at birth (Fitzgerald 2). His dad explains, among money, personality is also distributed randomly, and not everyone can be a good person. It is equally likely a good person can be inherently evil, and even the poorest can be the most generous. However, it is important to consider in terms of the American Dream, wealth is the major propelling factor, and character comes second. Although Nick considers himself a genuinely honest person, he is not very wealthy, as sincerities and wealth are not linked.

In contrast, Tom, with racist views and unloyal intentions, is at the top of the social ladder with nothing at stake. Orion Jones also agrees with this idea of wealth determining success and follows it with a study. He quotes, The study found that being born with wealth is the best indicator of socio-economic success because, whether by paying college tuition or having a more exclusive set of professional connections, wealth is great at leveraging qualities like personality and intelligence. In other words, the American ethos cannot quite compensate for the American class system. ( Jones 1). Jones reiterates what Nick argues, as connections are priceless compared to personality. It is also important to recognize those of of the same status tend to cluster. Therefore, the rich only continue to expand their list of resources, while the poor have to struggle and pay for the same advantages. The American class system is the driving force between living and surviving. The only thing the class system considers is wealth and has no room for social niceties.

The fact that the American Dream is nearly unattainable with the core principles of hard work and a strong sense of morals, but possible with wealth and social influence only goes to show how the American Dream is full of false promises. Fitzgerald embodies this idea through the Great Gatsby showing how those who are born with influence succeed, and everyone else dies trying. Likewise, Graham depicts how failure is simply not an option, but the poor cannot afford second chances, and therefore the American Dream is dedicated to those already well enough to support themselves. Lastly, Jones touches on personality, a trait not deterred by wealth, which plays no role in moving up the social ladder. The American Dream does not represent the idea that, through hard work anything is possible, but rather, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Fitzgerald’s Representation Of The American Dream

The American dream remains as an image for expectation, accomplishment, and joy. Be that as it may, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby looks at the American dream from an alternate point of view, one that reveals insight into the individuals who bend these standards to their own self-centered dreams. Fitzgerald distributes Jay Gatsby as a man who takes the fantasy too far and ends up unfit to recognize his bogus existence of wealth from the real world.

This interesting American tale portrays how society’s desires for wealth and influence the untainted standards of the American vision. The narrative of Jay Gatsby is symbolic of the vanity of the American dream since he went through all his life living it, however, he never recognized what it intended to have genuine feelings of serenity and genuine satisfaction.

In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby started life in a poor average workers family. He battled in World War 1 and after that went to Yale, at least to win the affection of Daisy Buchanan. For a similar reason, Gatsby was ready to make a fortune in rather repulsive ways by bootlegging and managing in phony bonds. In light of his rise to riches, people may consider Gatsby to be illustrative of the American dream. Since his terminal defeat, Fitzgerald demonstrates to his readers the occasionally bogus nature of that fantasy. Nick notices Gatsby’s movement and position upon his feet, assuming its Gatsby himself. He stretched out his arms toward the dark water and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished. (Fitzgerald, 20) Gatsby is extending his arms towards the green light that is at the finish of Daisy’s dock. For Gatsby, he thinks this light represents Daisy, his lost love. In the more extensive setting of the book and its contentions about the American dream, the green light can likewise be viewed as symbolizing money, achievement, and the past. The detachment of the green light is an imperative component of its imagery.

Besides Gatsby, the novel itself likewise has some importance to the American dream, especially during the 1920s, or the roaring twenties. As of now in America, the economy took off, which conveyed phenomenal dimensions of thriving to the country. Additionally, with World War 1 getting put to an end, individuals needed to make up for their pain from the war through wasting cash everywhere. This eventually led to rambling private gatherings and bars. Both of these patterns in America empowered American residents to wind up ridiculously wealthy over a brief timeframe. On account of this novel, Gatsby turned out to be wealthy by selling illegal drugs and afterward opened excessive gatherings periodically. This overall increase in America’s wealth brought them closer to their own dreams.

As far as the American dream, Gatsby is truly and metaphorically the self-made man. Gatsby is living the past, stuck on the expectation that he may win Daisy’s heart with his present way of life. He utilizes this to keep his fantasy of her alive, unfortunately, whatever is left of the world including Daisy, has proceeded onward. Despite the fact that Gatsby could be viewed as the living portrayal of the dream, we can perceive how formulated this genuinely is. He originates from a modest foundation to accomplish surprising riches. However, in any case, he can’t buy or control time. He endeavors to erase the five years he was separated from Daisy and continue as nothing occurred in those years. Gatsby can’t do this, so he builds his deepest desires of Daisy on illusions instead.
Despite the fact that Daisy and Jay originate from different foundations, they are similar on the grounds that they are both dependent on accomplishment. Their unrealistic desires and consistent need to look to the future keeps them from ever being happy again.

By using these characters, Fitzgerald demonstrates to the readers how the American dream can never fulfill anybody because the individual will, in every case, need more. The author is depicting that to be happy, people can’t just have vast objectives, yet rather need to figure out how to value the present, rather than obsess on how incredible the future will be. Though Fitzgerald depicted the American dream as something uncommon that would never fulfill you, he demonstrated some faith in the thought and supported the theory that regardless of what class anyone originates from, it is constantly workable for them to make progress.

Influence Of The American Dream

The 1920s were some of America’s most thriving years. Sports such as boxing and baseball were a huge importance, women were striked with opportunities of a lifetime, the stock market was experiencing multiple tribulations, and the American Dream was the end goal of it all. Bootlegging was another major topic of interest in this time.

Many citizens began selling alcohol illegally to make money and profit. This all helped contribute to the American Dream, the sole thing the vast majority of society was trying to achieve. Throughout his novel, The Great Gatsby, Frances Scott Fitzgerald shadows many situations highly influenced by the American Dream.

At the start of the 1920s, immigration was at its highest numbers ever in America’s history (Hirshman). These immigrants came in large numbers such as millions. Living conditions weren’t all the great in other countries, but they were just starting to boom in America. Citizens of other countries saw this and yearned for that kind of success. Many people in this time period wanted to live stress-free lives, so they figured the only way to do that was to travel to America. Many of these foreigners came to America with the hopes of earning more money than they were able to in their own countries. Most of them were unable to attain this goal. This led to many immigrants returning to their original homes. However, the ones who chose to stay hoped they were lucky enough to live out the American Dream.

Immigration was not the only reason the American Dream became so popular. People of America had already seen such a huge difference in their country once women were given the right to vote. Once women were able to recognize that politics had an impact on their daily lives just as much as it did on men’s. They felt they had the right to have a part in politic (Benner). At first they weren’t quick to jump social reform. Even though they had been given this right to vote, many people (mostly men) were not accepting of women having a bigger role in society. They still had little power. Eventually attitudes toward this new adjustment were slowly leaning towards women’s favor. Benner says, Women focused on things such as child labor laws, prison reform, and their own personal jobs. It wasn’t a normal thing if a woman was unmarried much less that women had their own jobs as well. The women had to work hard for what they believed was right and really put preeminence on the topic at hand. The Nineteenth Amendment changed society’s view and understanding of women’s place in humanity. This led to a huge impact and advantage for the people of America’s happiness.

The American dream was mainly focused on attaining material objects. Paul A. Cantor quotes in his article, One got a good education in order to land a good job…which would provide the financial means of buying all the material components that seemed essential to the American. Not only was it desirable to have the nicest things, but having the ideal lifestyle with the ideal family was just as important. The suggestion of the American Dream gave individuals something to strive toward and a reason to endeavor to become prosperous, independent person in society. “The American Dream” has dependably been about the possibility of achievement (Diamond). She then goes on to say, …it was a fantasy of correspondence, equity and popular government for the country. Society put all of their focus to accomplishing this vision that they felt was the key principle to America’s turning point.

Although it may seem so simple, the American Dream is not generally so clear-cut an idea (Islam). It often included a perfect family and white picket wall (Islam). However, Gatsby did not live up to that standard. He was a single man who earned everything he owned all for himself (and Daisy of course); he wasn’t working to support anyone else other than himself, he had no family to take care of. Fitzgerald wasn’t exactly focused on shining light on how Gatsby lived out the American Dream, but more so how it looked to other people in West and East Egg. They saw him as some type of God because he was so extravagant. Gatsby can often be described as a baffling man who lives in a vast residence and tosses luxurious parties that are attended by a considerable number of people each Saturday night (Fitzgerald).

Fitzgerald’s From Rags To Riches

Happiness is the key to a fulfilled life; but in many cases this pursuit is hard to attain. The American Dream is an etho of the United States. It is the ideal that prosperity will bring you life, liberty and happiness.

To many, the American Dream has become the pursuit of material prosperity; it has brought inferior outcomes, more working hours for big investments and less hours to enjoy their success. The term, rags to riches is usually intertwined with the ideal of the American Dream. When the working poor seek a prosperous life, they are lavished with riches, hence the term rags to riches. But can money really buy you happiness? In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby’s erroneous plan of achieving his dream to be with Daisy, exemplifies the rags to riches trend of the pursuit of the American Dream.

In the novel, Fitzgerald emphasizes Gatsby’s luxurious life and later reveals that Gatsby was not always rich. Nick Carraway, the narrator of this book, foreshadows that Gatsby is hiding something from the past as he is skeptical about the stories that Gatsby tells throughout the book. There were always so many stories about Gatsby, it was hard for Nick to identify which ones were true and which ones were not. But he always found so much respect for Gatsby, They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted across the lawn. ‘?You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together . Although Nick looks up to this great Gatsby, we learn that Gatsby didn’t always live a great life. It was Gatsby’s father, a solemn old man, very helpless and dismayed, bundled up in a long cheap ulster against the warm September day . At the beginning of the book, Gatsby illustrates himself as a man from a wealthy family with a father who had died. But in the last chapter we are introduced to Mr. Gatz, Gatsby’s father, and we learn that Gatsby was born into a poor family, and fabricated most of his past. Within the last five years of his life, he was able to become successful enough to impress his one true love, Daisy Buchanan.

Gatsby was so focused on making Daisy happy, that he overlooked all the greatness that he already possessed. Using the money that Gatsby had obtained, he held extravagant parties for all of East and West Egg to enjoy, The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher (40). Everyone was guaranteed a great night at Gatsby’s parties. But the primary purpose of these parties were to attract as much attention as possible, in hopes that one day a party would catch the eye of Daisy and entice her to attend. Gatsby always looked for Daisy at his parties. He didn’t socialize much with others though, he was too focused on grabbing Daisy’s attention. When he his feelings with Daisy, he wanted to take her away from her husband and relive the love they once had. Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘?Why of course you can’.

He still believed that no matter what obstacle came in his path, he we would be with Daisy. But his flashy new life and passionate heart, lead to his death. If Gatsby was not rich, he would not have been able to afford his yellow car, in which caused the accident of Myrtle Wilson’s death. Lovestruck Gatsby had allowed Daisy to drive his car that night; she had been the one to hit Myrtle. Gatsby was too in love with Daisy to blame her for the death. As a result, George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband, killed Gatsby. Gatsby would of done anything to keep Daisy safe. He had made himself a successful man, and yet he didn’t feel the greatness; he didn’t have the one thing he really wanted, Daisy.

But even Daisy, being the careless person she was, did not attend Gatsby’s funeral. I found myself at Gatsby’s side, and alone (164). Nick Carraway, the only man who Gatsby truly befriended, cared to be with his body everyday until his funeral. Only three people showed up to pay their respects to a man who gave all of West and East Egg so much. But it showed that even with his riches and big parties, he still didn’t have many friends.

Identity Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”

By revealing Beneatha’s interest in Africa to be genuine, coupled with her excitement, Hansberry expresses a sense of pride in returning to one’s roots as well as encourages African Americans to embrace theirs. Hansberry connects African heritage to not only a sense of belonging, but also hope in an unpredictable, and difficult future, which as a result gives strength, and hope to African Americans in a time when they faced resentment and segregation in various parts of the United States. This message continues today as a source of pride for one’s heritage as well as hope in times of trouble, such as the economic trouble faced by many Americans in the recent years.

However, Kristin Matthews argues that the focus on pan-Africanism takes Blacks away from more pressing issues like racism and civil rights.

She states that during Beneatha’s dance her eyes are far away back to the past as a means of challenging the racist capitalist system represented by George Murchison (Matthews 563). Yet, by fantasizing in the past, Beneatha fails to focus on the issues of the present, thus inhibiting her from making time-relevant decisions regarding her current predicament and future. Matthews points out that a returning to one’s African heritage does not solve one’s problems in their own country nor does it change the problems that the Younger family faces moving to an all-white neighborhood. However, despite Matthews’ arguments that returning to one’s African heritage pulls that attention from more issues at home. Hansberry’s focus and encouragement still creates a sense of pride for African Americans in their African roots. As a result, Hansberry encourages self-pride in African Americans as well; after all, one needs to be proud of one’s heritage before they can be completely proud of ones-self.

Besides encouraging interest in African heritage, Hansberry also examines the black national identity and how the two are connected. She achieves such through her variation of the American Dream as defined by her characters, Lena and Walter. For Lena, the ultimate realization of the American Dream lies in finally owning a house. Hansberry expresses Lena’s yearning in the statement: I remember just as well the day me and Big Walter move in here Hadn’t been married but two weeks and wasn’t planning on living here no more than a year (Hansberry 32). Although Lena fails to realize this dream until after her husband’s death, she continually works towards achieving her American Dream, not matter how many times other events cause it to be deferred. On the other hand, Walter defines the American Dream in terms of social and financial standing, thus leading to his desire to open a liquor store. However, Walter’s desire for wealth becomes blinding to the point of fantasy, illustrated when he says I’ll pull the car up in the driveway just a plain black Chrysler something a little sportier for Ruth maybe a Cadillac convertible (Hansberry 91). For Walter this fantasy becomes so controlling that he only begins to face reality and establishes his own self-identity after his dreams of business are crushed.

There was a change noted in Walter at the end of the play when he lets go of his dreams to quickly strike it rich and begins to think of what is best for his family. Through this realization, Hansberry addresses the importance of family and dignity over money and materialistic wealth. Thus showing how there is more to life than possessions. However, by characterizing Walter as a young black man, trying to achieve the same lifestyle as whites, Hansberry reflects the ideology held by many African Americans, however, by showing a change in Walter’s thinking, she establishes the black identity as more than keeping up with white people. She shows that the black national identity includes not only hard work, but family and self-pride as well. At the end of the play, Walter states we come from a people who had a lot of pride. I mean we are a very proud people (Hansberry 130). By stating that not only do they, the Youngers have a lot of pride, but also the people they come from, Hansberry includes pride into the definition of the black national identity. This encompasses many different prides, including pride of oneself, one’s national identity, and one’s heritage. Through this, the author calls African Americans to not try and copy the lifestyle and ways of white Americans, but instead to embrace who they are and where they came from as blacks and to use that pride and identity to carve their place in American history.

Industrial Revolution Was A Time For Prosperity

The Industrial Revolution was a time for prosperity and a multitude of technological advancements throughout America. Through good and bad times that this period brought America displays true success through many different aspects. New technology and key inventions were important at the time such as the spinning jenny, steam engine and power loom, these inventions allowed for work to be done more efficiently and eventually factorie were developed to house these machines as more developed.

As factors were created and become more popular the urbanization of cities came about, pulling more people into cities to work. More jobs were offered and the population in cities rose due to the high demand for workers in the newly created factories.

Increasing numbers of immigrants came to America during the Industrial Revolution in search of better lives including a place to work, somewhere to call home and a place to create a new life for themselves and their families. Immigrants came to America leaving their rural lives behind in hope of living the promised American dream. Children were given the opportunity to work in factories alongside adults which allowed for families to produce higher incomes and helped them to support themselves.

Men, women and children all had the opportunity to work at this time no matter the age or skill because America was the biggest industrial power at the time and the key to success was building up businesses with mass numbers of factory laborers. These five main components that contribute to the success of the industrial revolution prove that this time provided hope for the future and live up to the promise of the American dream.

As new technology and inventions came about during the Industrial Revolution more Americans become employed, and America’s economy and overall success booms. The importance of these inventions and technology is not only that it makes work more efficient, but also the inventions at the time are the backbone for modern day machinery used for travel trade and work every day. Each of these inventions, taken by itself, was significant. Collectively, they were, literally and figuratively, revolutionary(key). Inventions at this time including the spinning jenny, power loom, cotton gin and many more allowed for this revolutionary movement that change live in the textile industry.

New inventions and advancements allowed for more convenient ways of work, communication, travel and trade. Advances in technology provide new ways of life for Americans, a way for America to become an industrial nation producing mass numbers of goods and providing jobs for everyone including women and children. For better or worse, these inventions heralded changes that by now affect virtually every person on Earth, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future(key).

The inventions and advancements at this time were used and are still used in everyday American lives all over the world, without these inventions we would not be living the same as we do today. Many of our clothes and things we use in our everyday lives are made in factories like the ones during the industrial revolution powered by these advanced machines invented at the time. Key inventions and the overall industrialization of America provide hope for the future as a prosperous industrial nation. These industrial advances help the economy miracuously bringing new jobs and money flow to Americans. As a result new inventions and advances in technology throughout the Industrial Revolution allowed for people in the workplace to work more efficiently and boosted the economy allowing for new methods of work.

While America begins to prosper and new technological advances sprout America begins to experience an increasing number of immigrants being pulled to take part in the experience. Immigrants mainly from Europe are pulled to America to work and be able to have the opportunity to create better lives for themselves. An increasing number of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, who, like their American counterparts, came mostly from the countryside and knew very little of urban life(industrial). Immigrants came to America to work in cities, they didn’t know what they were coming to when they decided to move to America but they were determined to create a better and successful life for themselves.

Immigrants were used to living rural lives and didn’t know much about living and working in cities but they were chasing the idea of the American dream. More workers are required for more work to be done efficiently, as mass production methods become more popular the demand for workers was higher therefore factory owners allowed anyone to work for them. Word spread that the demand for laborers was so high that more and more people cme in search for jobs. As immigrants receive job opportunities for low wages, the economy prospers and saves Americans money. Immigrants come to America for better life and to live the American dream, providing hope for them and their future as Americas to provide for themselves and their families.

The American dream is something that is attainable for these immigrants who travel to America for their opportunity to live better lives. The American dream provides hope for America’s future as job opportunities and living quarters are provided. As immigrants travel to America for better lives and more opportunities they get better jobs than they were offered and help to boost the economy making america a strong power producing goods in factories and being successful overall.

One outstanding factor of the industrial revolution was the rise of urbanization in cities at the time. Small towns quickly turned into large cities as factories grew and more people moved from different areas to become apart of the factory systems. The attraction was powerful, for the drain on the countryside was particularly noticeable, especially in the Midwest and in the East. As the 1870s and 1880s witnessed the worst agricultural depression in the country’s history, large numbers of farmers succumbed to the temptations of urban promises and packed their bags(industrial).

Agricultural depression left farmers in the countryside struggling to provide for themselves, at this time we see many of these farmers moving to cities for more successful work in the eastern industries and as more factories came about and the demand for workers was high. The population of cities and the amount of workers increases, more Americans became employed creating a better economy and better lives for american workers. More people living in cities working makes America more successful and prosperous allowing for hope for the future. The surging economic and technological growth of the United States caused tremendous changes in the character of American life during the last decades of the nineteenth century(industrial). Overtime America becomes very successful with a good economy and social status due to the success in industries. In conclusion urbanization was a result of people pulled to cities for jobs and overall better opportunities leaving their rural lives behind for industrial ones.

Although working conditions in the factories could be considered unsafe compared to conditions now workers were more than happy to have the opportunities to work in factories. Workers came to America and were provided with jobs,they were overjoyed with the conditions they worked in and the tenements they were provided to live in. Jobs, higher wages, and such technological wonders as electricity and the telephone gradually took its toll on rural defenses (industrial). At thi time factory workers worked long hours for low wages and at this time they were perfectly fine with it because American cities and factories gave them opportunities they couldn’t find anywhere else. Tenements were provided for these workers to give them and their families a place to live, more and more people moved to these tenements and it inspired them to work hard for what they were earning in return.

People moved to cities in search of jobs they were desperate for somewhere to live and work, the factory systems provided these people with a way to support and provide for themselves as well as somewhere to call home and that is all they could ask for. American workers felt they were living the American dream. At this time during the industrial revolution it was a privilege to work and get a decent pay as well as a place to live and many of these workers got that opportunity as urbanization took place.

During the industrial revolution child labor played a big role in making sure the factories ran smoothly. At this time it was normal for children to start working in factories at very young ages in order to help support their families. Children worked in special parts of factories doing special jobs fit for them because of their sizes and work ethic. They worked hard and long to earn more than fair wages to help support their family which also helped the economy.

More employed Americans meant a better economy and contributed to America being and industrial power house. For most of the nation’s history, children labored next to adults on farms, in shops, and in factories (child). The demand for workers in these large factories filled with new technology and machinery was so high that Children were needed to work, and as more people moved to cities farms needed people to work as well. Child workers were an important part of the success of America during the industrial age and were essential in supporting not only their families, but the factory system as a whole.

During the time of the industrial revolution many key aspects contributed to the promise of the American dream and hope for the future. Advances in technology and key inventions provide more efficient ways of work and allow for more job opportunities making the US more successful. Urbanization pulls Americans from rural areas to turn small towns into large cities, as factories become more common more people leave their farms to work in the city creation powerhouse cities with booming populations and plenty of work. As success in cities arose and the factory system grew immigrants, mainly from europe, traveled to America to be apart of this economic advance.

Immigrant workers and American workers were provided with jobs in factories, homes in tenements and good wages to get by and support their families which is all any American could ask for at this time. Working conditions were not what they are now bt at this time no oe could complain because as long as these workers had jobs, a roof over their head and food on the table they were living the American dream. Children in factories provided more labor and allowed for more families to have higher incomes, this helped the economy and contributed to the success at this time. Many new changes during the industrial revolution allowed for America to prosper and grow, these advances allowed for success and as the years go on we learn from this time period and better ourselves.

The industrial revolution was a time of economic and social success providing hope for the future and proving that there is evidence of the American dream. Key inventions and advances in technology as well as new technology made us more successful and helped the economy in many ways. One major way that these inventions helped the economy was through the creation of factories employing millions of Americans and American immigrants. Urbanization took place as people move to cities for jobs from rural areas as farms and small businesses plummet.

Towns transform to industrial power cities employing large portions of American workers. Many of these workers travel from europe to take part in the so called American dream giving them opportunities they wouldn’t have in their countries of origins. Some of these opportunities are jobs with increasing wages, tenements to live in, and numerous factories to work in. Americans were focused and dedicated to their work lives at this time because of the industrial powerhouse America was, working was a main priority for men women and even children. Children had the opportunities to work in factories from ages as young as 4 this allowed for every member of families to have a steady income to support themselves and also contributed to the economic success of America. Without the demand for workers from all over in all ages, shapes, and sizes America would not be the same. Many new changes during the industrial revolution allowed for america to prosper and grow, these advances allowed for success in america and as the years go on we learn from this time period and better ourselves.

Work Cited

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  • “Key Inventions in the Textile Industry Help Usher in the Industrial Revolution.” Science and Its Times, edited by Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer, vol. 4, Gale, 2001. U.S. History In Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CV2643450386/UHIC?u=mlin_w_ludlow&sid=UHIC&xid=86e724d2. Accessed 27 Apr. 2018.
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