The Great Gatsby in the American Dream

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Tori Cullo
American Dream
January 6, 2013
Period 4

The 1920s and 1930s represent two decades in our country's history that were very much connected to one another but extremely different in the economy. The Great Gatsby takes place during the roaring 20s, a time of extravagant parties and attempts at finding happiness after World War I. On the other hand, The Grapes of Wrath takes place during the 30s while America is suffering from the Great Depression and people are leaving their homes and lives to find success and work in California. Although the times were very different economically, both were taken over by people striving for the American Dream of wealth and social status in an attempt of getting happiness, success, and a better life. During the 20s, people wanted to escape the terrors of the war and during the 30s they were attempting to survive during the devastation of the Great Depression. Both The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath do an amazing job of representing people's desires for the American Dream and more specifically the failure rather than success that came as a result of their efforts. The American Dream depicted by The Grapes of Wrath is very different from the dream of the 20s and The Great Gatsby. For one, money and wealth is much scarcer and extravagant parties are far from people's minds. In The Grapes of Wrath there is a very distinct line between the rich and the poor and this separation increases as those who are rich go to all lengths to ensure that they remain in the upper class. Many of the upper class seem to live in California where there is land and opportunity, while much of the lower class consists of "dust-bowl" farmers who have been forced to leave their land and travel to California in search of work. The land owners in California are afraid that these dust-bowl farmers will eventually take over their property and make it their own, so they are doing everything in their power to ensure that the poor farmers are...
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