The American Dream : The Great Gatsby, And The Virgin Suicides Essay

The American Dream : The Great Gatsby, And The Virgin Suicides Essay

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Many people have described the American Dream as the style of living in the United States. Everyone gets that pretty little picture of living in a suburban neighborhood, having the white picket fence, the dog, the perfect job, and the right amount of children. In fact, the American Dream is one of the most popular themes found in American literature. The true question is: Does the American Dream really exist? While closely observing all the readings from this semester, it appears that this “dream” exists, but does not at the same time. It can be said that this dream of having the perfect life in America varies from person to person but as a universal dream it cannot exist. A dream is just an idea people fantasize about and they choose whether it becomes reality or not, but even then, dreams have limits. Four pieces in particular stood out this semester that depicted this “dream,” Maggie, Paul’s Case, The Great Gatsby, and The Virgin Suicides.
Maggie was the first novella assigned, and it is filled with dark themes of poverty, prostitution, and death. Believe it or not, Maggie also longed for that American Dream. She lived in the slums of New York, her parents were alcoholics, and she worked at a factory. Maggie wanted nothing more but to get out of the slums and get an education, get married, and live a long and happy life. But in the end, Maggie went down the wrong path of prostitution and later was found dead. Maggie had been dreaming about getting out of the slums for quite some time, she even knew that she was different from the other girls. Maggie’s dream was becoming real when she met Pete. Now, Pete in her eyes was the “ideal man.” The way he talked about his job, how he lived in this environment, and his appearance. Magg...


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...ith their deaths, it shows what the American society is really like.
Throughout this semester, this class has been reading all types of different literature pieces. All types of themes were discussed including tragedy and death, but by far the most fascinating theme is the American Dream. While reading these four literature pieces you come to realize that the American Dream does not exist. It is just a fantasy, because you do not get everything you want and all the characters end up dying either way. If you take a look at Maggie, Paul, Gatsby, and the Lisbon sisters, they were so close to achieving that dream but things fall apart. You have to take a look at reality, those characters’ dreams were never going to come true. If anything learned from this class is that there are no happy endings and that everything ends up falling apart just like the American Dream.

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