When people go about their lives, they do not decide on living in a particular way but only decide on a desired end result. Jay Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby dreams of a universal goal with which he believes he will be fulfilled. However, Gatsby does not make a decision on how to live and thus concludes with only an illusion of fulfillment. On the other hand, Henry David Thoreau achieves his goal by dreaming in an entirely different perspective and making a decision on how to live. The final result which comes after their decease shows the effectiveness of their different dreams and ways in fulfilling them in a particular land of America. The American dream Thoreau achieves is a dream of integrity and satisfaction, which Gatsby fails to obtain for his dream is only material and limited.
In the onset people are left unfettered, without many differences and without individuality. They are left to individualize and discover their character as they grow. Henry David Thoreau's childhood and adolescence, from what little is known about these periods of his life, appear to have been typical. He was born on July 12, 1817, of rather ordinary parents in Concord, outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Thoreau's father was a pencil manufacturer and so the family was not very well off. Academically, Thoreau was an undistinguished student. He attended Harvard and read a great deal there. Yet, his career as a student was unspectacular. Thoreau could not find anything that interested him. After graduating from Harvard, Thoreau did not even have an occupation in mind. He went into teaching for a period of time but he did not last very long with it. He returned
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to his home and began to work for his father making pencils. His townspeople were surprised that a
Harvard man would turn out so disappointingly and looked upon Thoreau as a loafer. However, Thoreau was nothing of the such. While he was resting and working for his father,...