Interpretation of the American Dream

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Interpretation of the American Dream in the Jungle, the Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman In: English and Literature
Interpretation of the American Dream in the Jungle, the Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman
The United States Declaration of Independence proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that everyone has the rights for “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This document led to the national ethos that is the American Dream. This dream states that "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class.

Following the Civil War the United States of America underwent large scale change and by the start of the twentieth century was one of the richest nations in the world. By 1950 the U.S.A. was the richest country in the world and a superpower. The state was not the only thing to change during this period. From the late-nineteenth century up to the 1920s average Americans experienced a dramatic expansion in wealth and prosperity. However, with the Wall Street Crash in 1929 the U.S.A. experienced an economic depression that destroyed millions of livelihoods. This eventful period of American history led many to question the American Dreams place in modern America.

This research paper will examine the interpretation of the American Dream in literature between the Progressive Era at the start of the twentieth century and the 1950s economic and social boom. In order to do this the paper will examine the novels The Jungle, The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman. These three novels all examine...
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