Great Gatsby Death Salesman American Dream Essay

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The American Dream in Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby

1238 Words5 Pages

Since Columbus made land, people have been searching for the “American Dream”. Many people have their own idea and ideas that have changed over a period of time, but what exactly is the “American Dream” defined as .Origins of the dream have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the eighteenth and nineteenth century immigrants, most who came to America because of a promise for a new and better life. The American Dream was sought through hard work and determination. After the time of the World Wars, society changed and so did the view of the “American Dream”, it changed from a potential reality into being a dream. People were striving to reach their definition of the American Dream. Beliefs and values took a turn. The American Dream…show more content…

Pressures on society to live the dream can make feelings of low self-worth and turn into pushing people to go further to achieve by any means necessary. The American Dream does not only represent honesty and truth. It has not been uncommon for big CEO’s of companies to lie, cheat and steal to achieve their “American Dream”. This has been common throughout our history of economics. As society grows, wealth is the common denominator for success, and one starts to look up to these people at the top of the ladder to have achieved the dream. These people, who are anything but ethical, are the ones who influence society as what it takes to achieve and live the dream. "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919" (The Great Gatsby, page 78). The dream became so focused on money that any means of a obtaining it were condoned, even if it were unscrupulous. Result of American dream being corrupted is that the motivation and ambition were gone and the dream is left with the pursuit of an empty goal. Ignorance and the ideal of looking out for oneself are prevalent; where as in the pure American Dream striving to accomplish ones' own personal goal is ones main focus. One should use the American Dream for motivation and hope that one can achieve ones personal goal. The American Dream should not

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Death of a Salesman Compared to the Great Gatsby Essay

613 WordsJun 22nd, 20073 Pages

Comparing Death of a Salesman to The Great Gatsby
In the search for the American dream many things can be lost, this is reflected in the novel The Great Gatsby and the movie Death of a Salesman. Both of these works demonstrate the lengths that some people will go to in order to achieve the stereotypical life of a rich, successful and powerful American, which is often referred to as the American dream. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller illustrates how the character Willy will stop at nothing to achieve the American dream, despite the tremendous costs. Willy is unable to achieve his goal, however, due to his stubbornness. The aspects of the novel The Great Gatsby about the pursuit of the American dream parallel Death of a Salesman, Jay…show more content…

"That huge place over there? Do you like it? I love it. (page 95) The symbol of the green light symbolizes that he is working hard and striving for his goal and obtaining it: "He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way… and distinguished nothing except a single green light." (page 26)
In both modern tragedies Fitzgerald and Miller view the American Dream as a failure. Jay Gatsby was a dreamer and was taken advantage of in life and quickly forgotten in death. Gatsby sees a comparision between the "pulpless halves of the lemons and orange, and his party guests: "You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit!" His sales company can parallel this to Willy feeling taken advantage of. Willy feels betrayed by his company when his boss Howard who is ironically named by Willy shortly after he began working for Howard's father fires him. "That snot nose. Imagine that. Imagine that I named him. I named him Howard." Both Jay and Willy were greatly impacted psychologically by the betrayals in these tragedies.
One should keep in mind the American dream in life however, should not try to live their lives based solely on the dream. Each person's thought of the American dream will vary and should never be based on materialistic things or money but on an obtainable

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