Kane, Gatsby, And The American Dream

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The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Citizen Kane a movie directed by Orson Welles are both monumental stories in American society as they both represent the American dream at it’s most brilliant high. The Great Gatsby is all about time and the American dream; it is essentially what consumes Gatsby. Both Kane and Gatsby are representations of the American dream, and as we read into their stories we see that time and the dream become so intertwined that it is hard to see them apart. Other key factors play into this such as the failed pursuit of love and being in a sea of admirers and feeling like you are the only person there.

Jay Gatsby reinvents himself at the ripe young age of seventeen; this is when he officially starts his new life. A life that soon involves Daisy, suddenly Gatsby is in a deep love and when this love is lost he spends the remainder of his life trying to win her back. Gatsby’s obsession with his past with Daisy ultimately becomes his downfall, he is so engrossed with the idea of winning Daisy back with a flashy lifestyle that he fails to move forward with his life. This is a representation of the American Dream. The fact that every day as a country we go out into the world and chase our past, chase what we so hopelessly wish for, we end up basically chasing our tails because we fail to realize that as we existed, immersed in this hope of achieving greatness that somewhere out there our dreams happened without us. But we go on, we push harder every day, and every day the dream pushes back. Nick Carraway knows this flaw of the human condition as he states that; “Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, and one fine morning—“(189). “It is an incomplete thought because there is n...

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...mately the dream does not exist, it is a fabrication of our minds, set forth by the immigrants who made this country what it is today. However, this “dream” is what pushes people, what gives them the drive to move forward in their lives, or so we would like to believe. But when you analyze Gatsby, is this really what happens? Does it really give us the drive to advance our lives? Perhaps yes and no, Gatsby became successful monetarily, but not emotionally, emotionally he was placed in a cage in his mind, built by the illusion he would one day strive hard enough to win his beloved Daisy. And Kane? Well Kane used the dream to fill the hole of childhood, the hole of a mother and a father. We use the dream as a healer, but in reality, the happiness is just a high, because what goes up, inevitably comes back down.

Works Cited
The Great Gatsby

Citizen Kane


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