American Dream in Great Gatsby

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Jeffery Zou
Mrs. McCarthy
AP Language and Composition Period 6
10 March 2013
American Dream: The Idea that Pervades Society
The American dream is the longing of success that means a happy family and equal opportunity to go from rags to riches, through hard work. This idea is scene in a lot of places. On the picture by Margaret White, the poster proclaims: World’s Highest Standard of Living-There is no way like the American Way”. Or the headline of the newspaper story is “The American Dream, the subtitle is Doing Well by Doing Good.” Examples of the American dream are almost invisible when looking at average Americans. In the photograph, there are hungry people carrying buckets. None of them are white and none of them look remotely happy in front of the camera. This shows how not everyone can live the American Dream especially if they are barely getting by. Immigrants also failed to reach the American dream for reasons like not being able to speak English and lack of resources. Having a happy family is not easy either. There is lots of conflict at home over the dinner table and no time for American adults to have fun once they have kids. It is unrealistic to expect fun when there is housework, bills to pay, and more. Although it sounds good, it is a negative force in our society because it is just too good to be true. The American dream means equal opportunity to go from rags to riches. Sometimes, aggression may be necessary to get this “equal opportunity” due to circumstance. “At the time, most southern blacks could not share a water fountain, a beach, a bus seat, a school room, or a voting booth with southern whites.” (Moser, and Watters) This barrier to civil rights meant that many were considered inferior and could not succeed because they were separate from the average American. This shows that the American dream is unrealistic for blacks. Langston Hughes states how America should be a land “where Liberty is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But...
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