Philip Slater’s The Pursuit of Loneliness The purpose of Philip Slater’s book The Pursuit of Loneliness is to “reach some understanding of the forces which are unraveling our society” for his readers (xxii). It is a common conception that America is the best country, an idea which is substantiated by economic figures. However, Americans are not happy. According to Slater, “all societies frustrate certain human needs and satiate others (because) humanity and any particular society’s idea of what humanity should be is never very exact” (2). In America, the gap between reality and perception is growing farther and farther apart, at human expense.
Success and fortune have been a downfall in the search for the American Dream. It has corrupted society’s ethics in all, family values and morals, and psychological well-being. In part to the fact that “The American Dream” and the way Americans wish to live can be unreachable by the average person. Society once was based on truth, passion, and liberty for all but now is a mere illusion, focusing on money, power and how to reach it; portraying materialism and wealth as the “American Dream” and self-actualization, as portrayed by Miller in Death of a Salesman. The American Dream came to mean fame and fortune, instead of a promise that shaped a nation.
Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American dream very elaborately and shows the idea of the American dream to be connected with the goal of achieving wealth. Fitzgerald does not praise wealth in the Great Gatsby but condemns it by drawing attention to the dreadful fall made by Gatsby. Fitzgerald finds the desire of wealth to be a corrupting impact on people. Throughout the novel, the characters with money contradict the idea of the American dream. They are portrayed to be very snobbish and unhappy people.
King also addresses that inequality is the main problem according to many; the government is only making the rich minority wealthier, ignoring funds for the lowers classes. The American Dream will never die as long as planning ahead and proposing policies to sustain economic growth are tirelessly acted upon. Edward McClelland focuses his essay RIP, the Middle Class: 1946-2013 on how the middle class is no longer able to thrive if the actions of the government continue – or their nonexistent
However, as money became easy to get and as social values loosened up, the American Dream changed, turning it into an immoral and corrupt passion. In the Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby dedicates his life to reunite with Daisy, his love of his life. However, there is a difference in social status between her and him, forcing Jay Gatsby to turn into illegal crime and bootlegging to become wealthy quickly. Instead of nobly achieve such status; Gatsby turns to an illicit lifestyle to pursuit an empty happiness, which he never achieves. As Jay Gatsby pursues this dream, his dream itself becomes corrupted, as the way he achieves his dream is immoral and ill passion.
Fitzgerald uses this to portray the nature of the American dream, where individuals will never be able to achieve the American Dream because human beings by nature always desire and are greedy for more. This greediness and constant lack of satisfaction with one’s present status is not only present in Gatsby, but in other characters such as Tom and Daisy and society as a whole. Fitzgerald usage of Gatsby’s personality embodies his direct criticism of the American Dream and
As an American, a lot in pages 95-99 of the text book seem very true and relatable which I will explain by describing it with our American ideals, and society. Desire in this country is a very high state of mind in this society and we are not exactly a happy nation. In one of our American slogans “The pursuit of happiness”, we chase after our own individual ideas of what happiness is. Often times it is our desires that masks it’s self as happiness. Most American feel like they have failed at reaching and living out the American dream due to never being able to fulfill all desires and continuously wanting more.
The novel explores the shallowness of the upper class and the fruitless pursuit of the American dream that eventually ends in vain. Through Jay Gatsby’s attempt to live his own dream, Fitzgerald presents his view of a disillusioned society, fraught with the hollowness of the rich and the pursuit of the unachievable American Dream, that eventually spiral into desperation and disappointment. During this time period, one’s success is often equated to one’s wealth–the richer a person is, the higher up he is on the social ladder, and therefore the more successful he is. However, success does not always guarantee happiness. When Nick, the narrator, first goes to Tom’s house, he encounters Daisy and Jordan, who are both extremely wealthy women, lying on a couch.
People have multiple explanations as to what love is, but in the end no one truly knows. What people ponder most is how relationships that seem so perfect, can end in a blink of an eye. Research shows that the problem pertaining to relationships ending is money. Money seems to be the controller in many situations. In the stories, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, money and the amount that you have, proves to be the leading control factor in relationships and can destroy them easily.
In addition, working conditions were unsafe and were usually paired with low income. Living conditions weren’t any better as immigrant families were generally packed in cold, filthy, and cramped apartments. Corruption was inevitable as people wanted to reach the top. Matthew Warshauer, author of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Changing Conception of the American Dream,” writes, “The emphasis on good fortune rather than industriousness and perseverance is eroding the work ethic that once made the American dream a respectable goal.” (Warshauer) Warshauer would agree that the notion of diligence and determination to acquire wealth changed completely with the introduction of factories and manufactures. Even though immigrants experienced these struggles, many still believed that through diligenc... ... middle of paper ... ...