Essay on Dreaming the Dream in The Great Gatsby, and Of Mice and Men

Essay on Dreaming the Dream in The Great Gatsby, and Of Mice and Men

Length: 1188 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The American Dream has long been thought the pinnacle idea of American society. The idea that anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or financial status, could rise from the depths and become anything they wanted to be with no more than hard work and determination has attracted people from all around the world. Two writers from America’s past, however, have a different opinion on the once-great American Dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck have given the public their beliefs on the modern Dream through the novels they have written, The Great Gatsby, and Of Mice and Men, respectively. One novel placed during the Great Depression and the other during the Roaring Twenties both illustrate how their author feels about the Dream itself through the use of many literary devices. While both novels have main characters with hopes for something better, all the characters seem to fall into the same plagued pit. Through depravity and decadence, the American Dream seems to have become exactly what its name implies: A dream, not a reality.
Through characterization, both authors illustrate their view on the American Dream. Using George as a catalyst in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck shows how the working class of the United States strives for something better and works hard to attain their dream. “O.K. Someday – we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and-…” (14) George’s conversations with Lennie involving the farm that they are trying to buy show that George will not give up his pursuit of a better life, no matter what obstacles slow him down. Steinbeck also shows how friendship is part of the American Dream through George always sticking by Lennie, despite...

... middle of paper ... love, Daisy, but he avoids the simple solution of directly talking to her. He falls in to bootlegging in order to gain his wealth, and then throws elaborate parties to attract her, failing every time. The rest of the characters, with the exception of Nick, are too concerned with money to see anything else. Their American Dream has fallen into nothing more than greed. While both authors present their side of the Dream in different ways, both novels end in the same way: The American Dream stands there for the characters to grasp, yet in the end, they all fall short. The American Dream remains that, and nothing more; a dream, just out of reach and shrouded in darkness.

Works Cited

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Collier Books Macmillan
Publishing Company, 1986. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Presentation of the American Dream in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

- Gatsby and his American Dream How does Gatsby represent the American Dream. In the cornerstone document to the United States’ society, a thing so dear to Americans as a symbol of their country’s values, The Declaration of Independence, it is said that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This has always been taken to heart by all of American society, although the simple dream of equal opportunities and the possibility of “rags to riches” results which can be achieved by the strength of a person’s character and not the certain privileges they may have been born with....   [tags: The Great Gatsby Essays]

Strong Essays
1956 words (5.6 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby Essay

- Everything ventured but never to be gained F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby shows the American Dream is not obtainable by any person, no matter what the social economical level one might be born into, and its pursuit comes at a heavy price. Jay Gatsby, George Wilson, Tom Buchanan are just a few characters that risk everything to achieve the American Dream, but are incapable of ever reaching that euphoria. Dreaming, or “an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real” i s not part of this world and is pure fantasy, but Fitzgerald’s characters still think it is achievable....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Strong Essays
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Dreaming Can Bring Misery in the Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitgerald

- ... Very view people knew what Gatsby looked like and even fewer truly knew who he was. People gossiped amongst themselves about who he was, where he came from, and those sorts of things, but he was a true mystery for almost everyone even our narrator Nick Caraway feels iffy about Gatsby throughout most of the novel. Gatsby first tells Nick that he is of a wealthy family from the mid-west and that they have all passed now leaving him large amounts of wealth. He adds that he is an Oxford man and received a significant amount of metals from various countries after the war, but the truth about Gatsby is quite the opposite....   [tags: wealth, romance, imagination]

Strong Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Destruction and Failure of a Generation in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

- The Great Gatsby and the Destruction of a Generation      The beauty and splendor of Gatsby's parties masks the decay and corruption that lay at the heart of the Roaring Twenties. The society of the Jazz Age, as observed by Fitzgerald, is morally bankrupt, and thus continually plagued by a crisis of character. Jay Gatsby, though he struggles to be a part of this world, remains unalterably an outsider. His life is a grand irony, in that it is a caricature of Twenties-style ostentation: his closet overflows with custom-made shirts; his lawn teems with "the right people," all engaged in the serious work of absolute triviality; his mannerisms (his false British accent, his old-boy friendlines...   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Strong Essays
1411 words (4 pages)

The American Dream in Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Two Kinds, and Sophistication

- The American Dream in Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Two Kinds writer by Amy Tan, and in “Sophistication” by Sherwood Anderson. Working hard is the key to success. This struggle for success is most commonly called the “American Dream.” The aspect of the American Dream has been around forever and is often the underlying theme in many pieces of American literature. The theme of the American is especially presented in Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by F....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]

Strong Essays
1545 words (4.4 pages)

The Past and the Future in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- In the hit album Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Roger Waters shows his longing for the past in the song “Vera.” In order to fully understand this, you will need some background knowledge on Roger Waters. Waters’ father fought and died in World War II, leaving this two-year-old boy without a father. Not having a father would later prove to have negative impacts on the life and happiness of Waters. The lyrics of “Vera,” while they are confusing, are very meaningful. “Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn....   [tags: Wealth, Relationships, Twenties]

Strong Essays
753 words (2.2 pages)

Comparison of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”

- The short story of “Winter Dreams” was written around the same time that Fitzgerald was developing ideas for a story to turn into a novel. While The Great Gatsby wasn’t published until 1925, “Winter Dreams” débuted in 1922 and the similarities between the novel and short story were done on purpose. “Winter Dreams” became a short draft which Fitzgerald paralleled The Great Gatsby after, but also differentiated the two in specific ways (“Winter Dreams” 217). The main characters are both men, Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green, who desire for the American dream, not necessarily for themselves, but in order to lure back the women they idealize....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of ' The Day Of The Locust '

- When Looking in goes Wrong The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture defined the American Dream as “the idea that the US is a place where everyone has the chance of becoming rich and successful.”But those principles have changed. It has become something that is further out of reach for most people without facing misfortune. It has been tainted by greed, power, anger, and jealously. J. G. Ballard said “the American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]

Strong Essays
1177 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Gatsby

- Gatsby Green Light in the Great Gatsby After the events of this story have unfolded, the narrator Nick, focuses on the man most like himself; Gatsby. Both Nick Carraway and Jay Gatz hail from the mid-west, where morals and the right way of getting ahead are instilled into them. They travel to New York, where the morals are paper-thin and everything seems turned upside down. The saps with morals stay in the ashheaps while the careless, foolhardy upper society do what they please. Nick stays true to the mid-west morals of an earnest, hardworking living while Gatsby tries to be just like the others on East Egg....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
2024 words (5.8 pages)

Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck Essay

- Of Mice and Men By John Steinbeck 1. How significant is the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men. 2. To what extent is it correct that The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman and Of Mice and Men explore important, but different aspects of ‘The American Dream’. 3. What is the importance of dreams and dreaming to the success of Of Mice and Men. A. Background Information Describe the historical background to the novel i.e. the USA in the mid/late 1930’s The USA of the mid and late 1930 was still suffering from the Great Depression....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
3001 words (8.6 pages)