Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, and the American Dream

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Gatsby and Loman
My own life’s dream is to have a career in which I can surround myself in music. I will not let anything stand between my dream and I; however, I will never allow my dream to come between myself and my loved ones, or my reality. Many have already fallen victim to the pursuit of the American Dream – a fantastic projection of life that varies based upon its dreamer. However, the road to the American Dream, if followed blindly, can lead to nothing more than a dead end. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, respective protagonists Jay Gatsby and Willy Loman are blinded by the pursuit of the American Dream, and both meet their downfalls at the hands of their own ignorance. These two authors both criticize the human tendency for self-delusion through the flawed moral characters of Gatsby and Loman.

Jay Gatsby is a popular millionaire in New York, yet no one knows how he came about his wealth. Truthfully, Gatsby is a criminal – bootlegging alcohol and making an impressive fortune. Nevertheless, he worked hard to earn his fortune, as was his dream. As most men of the time did, Gatsby went to war and, during his time in Louisville, fell in love with a woman named Daisy. The two vowed to love each other and wed as soon as Gatsby returned from war. Unfortunately, Daisy did not wait, and married a rich man named Tom Buchanan. With this betrayal, Daisy secured a position as Gatsby’s only desire. What Gatsby doesn’t realize; however, is that Daisy, by marrying another man and enjoying his riches, stands for everything that Gatsby despises: inheritance of wealth without any hard work. Gatsby’s love for Daisy blinds him from his honest pursuit of riches and leads him instead down a path of underground crime. Gatsby’s love for Daisy forces him to take the blame for the death of Myrtle Wilson, whose husband kills Gatsby, ending the road to his American Dream.

Willy Loman is a businessman – more specifically,...
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