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The American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

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The American Dream is an ethos idealized by millions of people. It is an attitude and mindset that can promote success and prosperity throughout life. When it comes to the American dream, a significant part is the quest for money. As shown in classic American Literature such as The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the influence of money plays an important role throughout both novels. There are characters in both books that use money as a way of representing what their morals and values are. The decline of the American Dream is evident in both novels considering the negative effects money has on certain characters.
The American Dream still lives today in society in which people strive to the top and accomplish their goals in life. James Truslow Adams coined the term in 1931 in his book called “American Dream”. He stated in the book "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement". The importance of this quote in Adams’ novel is that the American Dream can be achieved by anyone (Warshauer 3). There are no limits and bounds to these emotions and people from any social class can seek their dreams and desires in life. Over the years the definition of the American Dream has changed, but the underlying fundamental meaning had stayed the same. The American mentality is basically participation in the economy and society in order to gain a better social standard and be prosperous. The United States Declaration of Independence also had some influence in the definition of the American Dream. In the Declaration of Independence it states all men are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" includi...


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... American Dream. The unemployment rate in the United States rose 25% during the depression and jobs were scarce(VanGiezen 7).The Great Depression started in 1929 and lasted until the early 1940s (McElvaine 1). The same time frame accounted for the publication of both The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire.
The American Dream has been an emotion and mentality in people that has lasted for hundreds of years. Success and prosperity are two things everyone longs for so that they can live life to the fullest. The Great Gatsby and A Streetcar Named Desire both depict the decline in the American Dream. When it comes to prosperity and money it is essential to follow your morals and values. Jay Gatsby and Blanche DuBois are two characters in each of the novels that are hurt by money and power and ultimately both characters are forced to have unfortunate endings.




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