The American Dream Destroyed Willy Loman and the Great Gatsby Essays

The American Dream Destroyed Willy Loman and the Great Gatsby Essays

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Everyone has a dream of their desired future, they dream of the one thing that makes them happy that they do not have now. In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman and Gatsby are characters dominated by an American dream that destroyed them. Their dream comes from a fantasy past. These dreams were made outside from who they truly are. Gatsby tried to repeat his past, while Willy attempted to create a new past. The lack of control over their goals and dreams lead to their downfall at the end. The two novels show the various points of the American dream; either to pursuit of happiness, or to pursuit of material wealth.
In the Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, many had pursued the American dream of material wealth and others could not. Tom and Daisy Buchanan are a married couple that seem to have everything they could possibly want and need. They had pursued the American dream of material wealth. Their lives were full of every materialistic object that one could imagine of, however they were very unhappy and seek to change their way of living. Tom drifts off to "forever seeking a little wistfully for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game"(Fitzgerald 10) and he begins to read "deep books with long words in them"(17) just so that he could have a topic conversation with others. Tom is married to Daisy Buchanan; however he has an apartment in New York and has an affair with Myrtle Wilson there. Daisy Buchanan is one who is empty on the inside, and she demonstrates herself to the world as if she is oblivious to her husband’s affair with Myrtle. Daisy has no drive, ambition or desires that she wants to complete in her life; she is a characterless person, with a beating heart...


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...needs a little salary” (Miller 137). Willy needed more than just money to realize his dream. The struggle of human beings to achieve their goals by idealizing of an unrealistic goal which is all about the American dream is too far to reach leads the many downfalls.
In conclusion, in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Miller’s Death of a Salesman shows how dreams can be made and destroyed. By having the American Dream dominate one’s way of life can lead to death, just like Gatsby’s and Willy’s. This was due to the lack of control over their own lives. The novels shows the ideal life that is dreamt of and how many went to the extreme extent to achieve it, if it was not met they believed that they were not worthy of living, thinking that would be the best way out. The two novels show the American dream; either to pursuit of happiness, or to pursuit of material wealth.

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