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The Evolution of the American Dream Essay

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Comparing the perspective of the American dream in the 1920’s to the American Dream in the 1940’s and present day seems to be a repeating cycle. The American dream is always evolving and changing. The American dream for present day is similar to the dream of the 1920’s. An Ideal of the American life is to conform to what our society has determined is success. Money, materialism and status had replaced the teachings of our founding fathers in the 1920’s. A return to family values and hard work found its way back into American’s lives in the 1940’s. The same pursuit of that indulgent lifestyle that was popular in the roaring twenty’s has returned today for most Americans, many Americans are living on credit and thinking that money and the accumulation of material items can solve all problems. Through film, literature, art and music, an idealized version of what it means to be an American has changed from money, materialism, and status of the 1920s to hard work and family values of the forties.
“Money is the root of all evil”(Levit). Man and his love of money has destroyed lives since the beginning of time. Men have fought in wars over money, given up family relationships for money and done things they would have never thought that they would be capable of doing because of money. In the movie, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the author demonstrates how the love and worship of money and all of the trappings that come with it can destroy lives. In the novel Jay Gatsby has lavish parties, wears expensive gaudy clothes, drives fancy cars and tries to show his former love how important and wealthy he has become. He believes a lie, that by achieving the status that most Americans, in th...


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...the 1920’s hopefully in the next decade we will repeat the American dream of the 1940’s.






Works Cited

"Ain’t We Got Fun - Lyrics - International Lyrics Playground." International Lyrics Playground - Songs From Europe, North America and Around The World. Foreign Language Lyrics, Christmas and Holiday Lyrics! Web. 20 May 2010. .

Applebee, Arthur N. The Language of Literature. Evanston, Ill.: McDougal Littell, 2006. Print.

"New International Version." Bible Gateway. Web. 19 May 2010.


Rockwall, Norman. Freedom From Want. About.com. Web. 19 May 2010. .

The Great Gatsby. Dir. Jack Clayton. Perf. Robert Redford, Mia Farrow. Paramount Pictures, 1974. DVD.



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