Lavish parties, big houses, and a multitude of wealth are all things associated with the idea of the American Dream, as displayed by Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. His journey from rags to riches epitomizes the goal of the American Dream. Gatsby, born into a lower class family, grew up with little to nothing, so he set out to make something out of himself. In his adolescence, Gatsby surrounded himself with members of a high social class and realized that he could work his way up to their standard. Jay takes an opportunity of a lifetime by joining Dan Cody on his yacht as an apprentice to learn how to act like a true gentleman. (pg. 99) This helped him develop into one of the wealthiest men on Long Island. By owning storefronts and illegally bootlegging, he created his empire. He was given the rare opportunity to change his life, similar to Walter in A Raisin In the Sun. In a NPR conversation, Jeb Bush’s comment, “You have people that are born poor, and there's a higher and higher probability...
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... sometimes the downfall of those surrounding them.
A Rasin In The Sun. Dir. Kenny Leon. Perf. Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, and John Stamos. , 2008. DVD.
"American dream." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1996. Print.
Geoghegan, Tom. "The Great Gatsby: What it says to Modern America." BBC News. N.p., 9 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 May 2014.
Neary, Lynn, Marilyn Geewax, Erin Currier, Jeb Bush, and Mika Brzezinski. "Social Mobility: Is The American Dream Slipping Away?." NPR. NPR, 7 Mar. 2013. Web. 7 May 2014. http://www.npr.org/2013/03/07/173733691/social-mobility-is-the-american-dream-slipping-away.
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