The American Dream of the Renaissance The American Renaissance was the rebirth of culture and literature during the 1800’s. It was a time where people felt the need to depend on themselves rather than a higher figure. The Renaissance was similar to rationalist period because people wanted to perfect their moral goodness. People of this time wanted to improve their life by achieving upward mobility. Slaves who escaped and became free were an example of upward mobility during the Renaissance.
He writes: The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. (Adams, 1931) Adams defines The American Dream by four main criteria; equality, prosperity, social mobility, and appreciation of others on their characteristics and not prejudice factors like those of race, sex, and class (Shibnauth, n.d.). President John F. Kennedy echoes these views in his attempt to preserve and continue the legacy and belief of The 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.
America has many people from all over the world come to live there because they yearn for opportunity and freedom. Ever since the creation of the United States of America the American Dream has been advertised. In the past century the American Dream has been made known by the Roaring 20s and the post WW2 era. The American Dream used to mean that every man had equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but now it’s transformed into “Any man can walk into America with nothing and come out rich through hard work and dedication.”And so people took this dream to heart, making it their life dream to become rich. In the 1920s the change of the American Dream began to change for the worse.
The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Webster's dictionary describes the American dream as the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is a literary masterpiece that takes a fascinating look at the nature of the American dream that made its fiery inception during the American War of Independence 1776-83 when it became the central theme of the American Declaration of Independence. In short, it stated, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, Creator, with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" (Dream 1). Through the voice of the narrator, Fitzgerald laments the social and spiritual decline of the American nation. Society is generally defined as a formal association of people with similar interests, dreams and ambitions.
He felt that with money came many other advantages to life. Gatsby’s sole purpose for acquiring wealth was to win back his old love. When Gatsby first met Daisy he was underprivileged and considered unworthy because of his lower class status. He knew that while he was poor there was no chance of them ever uniting as a couple. “I was poor”, Gatsby had no money and he thought that Daisy “was tired of waiting around for me” (131).
In return, she lost her son. The money that Paul won, was proof of his luck that he could give to his mother and earn her love. Paul is very unlucky in that he never got what he wanted even by trying to get it. That luck wasn't money to Paul, it was love. He never received love from his mother which he should have gotten by chance, and his mother ended up losing a lot more than Paul's money could have ever given her.
Then Gatsby won a glance at happiness with Daisy when she fell in love with him. There was no hope though, his poor youth kept him from being an aristocrat. Daisy only wanted to be with an aristocrat. Finally when Faulkner said “without pity or compassion” this relates to The Great Gatsby in how Tom and Daisy packed up and moved far away without even showing their faces at Gatsby’s funeral. The Plot of the novel, is based on the fact that the newly rich, (those who were not born into money, but have acquired it over time), will never have the power of those who were born in to family wealth.
He almost reached it but never got the girl, therefore his dream fell apart. Gatsby was also “new money,” and Daisy was “old money.” Once again the American society is not really giving an opportunity to those that make themselves rich instead of being born rich. Tom always looked down on Gatsby because he made his fortune elsewhere while Tom was born into a rich family. One of the curious things about Gatsby is the green light. This green light can also be seen as his dream, that green light is on Daisy’s dock and he is always reaching for it but in the end he never truly grabbed it.
It characterizes him as a person with illegibility in methods to achieve the goal. However, his dream of happiness in personal life was broken and brought disappointment as Daisy seemed more impressed with his shirts rather than his diligence to reach the success and stand on the same step of the social welfare stairs as she. “It makes me sad because I have never seen such-such beautiful shirts before” Daisy’s words convey the grotesque satirical reality of their first date after five years (Fitzgerald 92). Secondly, the reader can observe his unlawful activity; Gatsby unscrupulous in a ways to get rich; Nick Caraway finds that later when some person calls the Gatsby’s house and mistakenly tells about their fraudulent activities (Fitzgerald 166). The scandalous scene of revelation of the affair between Daisy and Gatsby shows how money spoiled Gatsby; he did not care of his enrichment methods.