The toxicity of success is portrayed through famous literary works such as The Great Gatsby and The Death of a Salesman, while dealing with an overarching theme of American success. F. Scott Fitzgerald beautifully portrays a wealthy upper class society in The Great Gatsby, which has extreme corruption, hidden by it’s allure, while much of this upper class is pompous and selfish, as well as being so heavily judgemental that is it difficult to be accepted by these people. Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman uses the narcissistic Willy Loman to shine light on the capitalist, middle class America, who’s life revolves around superficial success, which represents the overall flaw in the capitalist system: proclivity; this leads to Willys neglect for the important aspects of his life, as well. Ultimately, both of the authors question the purity behind the American definition of success.
In The Great Gatsby, Miller uses physical attraction and power to describe the upper class-until it is proven that underneath beauty, there is typically hideousness. The measure of success among these citizens depends on mainly looks and attitude. This is a large problem in America-classism. The classist society tends to cause internal class judgement and mistrust between people belonging to classist America. Miller uses Daisy Buchanan to demonstrate this idea-she was incredibly accustomed to power, which she was afraid to lose through marrying Gatsby-a man who was only “new money,” and not classy enough for her to be seen with. The success had gone to her head-and she failed to separate from Tom. The upper class adopts a power that eludes to them losing sensitivity, and becoming solely money-hungry. In the end of the story, Nick de...
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...ng and importance of success. Particularly, American success, since America is a classist society that places much value on wealth. Both Jay Gatsby and Willy Loman had suffered due to dreams of success, and had been destroyed by it. Miller and Fitzgerald judge the problems within success, and show the dangers of it. Success seems to be a fairy tale-like concept in modern America, since it has become less and less achieved throughout the decades. Social power is glorified throughout American society, but Miller and Fitzgerald attempt to prove that glamor and elegance is not all that matters to lead a meaningful life. Success can be measured in love, kindness, peace, and passion. The narrow view of success can cause people to lose traditional family values and harbor frivolous ones. The play and novel signify the corruption among wealthy people, and why it is a danger.
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