Shaping the American Dream
The American Dream is a national symbol of the United States; a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and progress achieved through hard work. Throughout the texts, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men and A Raisin in the Sun, various characters chase the elusive American Dream. In, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby pursues his dream girl Daisy Buchanan even though his dream of whisking her away is intangible. In the text, Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie dream of acquiring a farm where they can remain blissfully undisturbed. In the play, A Raisin in the Sun, Walter Younger dreams of owning a liquor store and supplying his family with an abundance of opportunities. In all three stories, the American Dream shapes the beliefs and values of society by prompting people to strive for their ideal goals even though they remain frustratingly intangible. In the story, The Great Gatsby, the American Dream had driven Jay Gatsby to prosper, yet still be just out of reach of his final goal. Gatsby’s infatuation with Daisy Buchanan had pushed him into becoming successful since he wanted to impress her with his money. Although Gatsby was rich materialistically, he lacked companionship. Gatsby believed in the ” green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” or in other words, the American Dream (180). Jay Gatsby could not escape his past and his harbored dream of recreating his love affair of 1917 with Daisy. He believed he could win Daisy over and struggled ceaselessly for Daisy’s affection. Although Jay Gatsby truly believed he and Daisy would end up Renz 2
together, the audience can tell that his goal was impossible due to Daisy’s unsettled emotions and indecisiveness. Gatsby’s American dream loving Daisy in return for her unconditional love shaped him into a successful businessman. However, Gatsby was also a man with loose values since he became wealthy due to illegal activities....
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