21 May 2014
“Americans have so far put up with inequality because they felt they could change their status. They didn't mind others being rich, as long as they had a path to move up as well. The American Dream is all about social mobility in a sense - the idea that anyone can make it.” (Fareed Zakaria) By looking at the meaning of the phrase "American dream," writers help define the promises the United States makes to its citizens. Writers in the new century find themselves in the difficult position of putting family, history, faith, work, and politics together, into a new understanding of what; exactly the American dream is today. There are two ways to look at the American dream, a positive way and a negative way. There are many ways to understand both perspectives, but it all lies in your own opinion. To express these perspectives, author Scott Fitzgerald and Walt Whitman both have different views on the American dream. Fitzgerald (Author of The Great Gatsby) is more negative, as Whitman (Author of I Hear America Singing) is positive. In “The Great Gatsby” Fitzgerald expresses the struggles that Nick Caraway experiences, as Jay Gatsby has the sweet life. Nick is a Yale graduate and moves into a tiny cottage in New York, because he was offered a bond salesman occupation. “New York was the pleasure capital – and thus, to the active American conscience, unreal, and a mirage, surely treacherous.” (pg. 409 “Contemporaries”) He moves next to a huge mansion, next to Jay Gatsby, who has these extravagant parties each week, hundreds of people who idolize him, and has servants waiting on his hand and foot. But with every good, there has to be a little bad. Jay fell in love with a woman named Daisy. Jay went off to war and Daisy had gotten married. When Jay came back, he started seeing Daisy, but he never had the chance to marry her. Before he could be with Daisy, Jay was shot and killed. All he wanted was...
Cited: Kazin, Alfred. Contemporaries, the New and Revised Edition
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby
Whitman, Walt. Song of Myself
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