The American Dream, Modernist Fiction

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The American Dream, Modernist Fiction Ever since America has emerged as its own nation, the idea of The American Dream has constantly evolved with ever changing ideas. During the Modernist Era, America was going through a time of prosperity and new economic wealth. These factors helped shape the American Dream during this time period. Americans' actions at the time, along with the fictional pieces from this time period, reflect these American ideals. The American Dream during the Modernist Era was best characterized by upward mobility and Americans bettering themselves, which is shown through Americans at this time, the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and, The American Dream. A major theme of the American Dream during the modernist fiction era was upward mobility and accomplishment. Along with Economic prosperity and economic opportunity came the idea of upward mobility. Upward mobility was the idea of moving up in the world financially and gaining a new wealth not owned before. "In the 19th century in particular, the term began to take on a more obvious secular orientation ( moving up in this world by no means precluded moving up in the next one" (Cullen 59). The dream of upward mobility had shifted mindsets away from religion. People were no longer focused on the life after death, but more on the current life. The focus of obtaining the dream of upward mobility had taken over lifestyles in the 19th century. Money and wealth appealed heavily to people at the time, which is where they found their comfort. This is why religion played less of a role in everyday life. There were new motivations that moved away from just being able to provide for their family to focusing on moving up more and accomplishing more and gaining a new... ... middle of paper ... ...ashington Monthly 45.1/2 (2013): 45. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. New York: Oxford, 2003. Print. Faulkner, William.“A Rose for Emily”.Elements of Literature:FifthCourse.Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008.(720-727). Print. Foroohar, Rana. "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO UPWARD MOBILITY? (Cover Story)." Time 178.19 (2011): 26-34. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. F.Scott, Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, n.d. Print Hemingway,Ernest.“A Soldiers Home”.Elements of Literature:FifthCourse.Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008.(685-691). Print. “Roaring Twenties.” pbs.org. PBS, n.d.Web.4-25-14. Topolnicki, Denise M., and James Schnepf. "The American Dream And Today's Reality." Money 21.10 (1992): 98. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
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