The American Dream

1823 WordsJul 10, 20188 Pages
The American Dream is a concept that has been wielded in American Literature since its beginnings. The ‘American Dream’ ideal follows the life of an ordinary man wanting to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The original goal of the American dream was to pursue freedom and a greater good, but throughout time the goals have shifted to accumulating wealth and high social status. Deplorable moral and social values have evolved from a materialistic pursuit of happiness. In “Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity”, Roland Marchand describes a man that he believed to be the prime example of a 1920’s man. Marchand writes, “Not only did he flourish in the fast-paced, modern urban milieu of skyscrapers, taxi…show more content…
Myrtle dies in her attempt to break free from the Valley. The Valley shows its people as quite dull and lifeless, without hope for the future no matter how hard they work. In a later example, Tom visits the car shop where Myrtle and Wilson live. Wilson appears to be quite the dull character, and Tom and Wilson get into an awkward disagreement. Tom is very arrogant around Wilson. This shows that the rich are disdainful towards those not as successful as them. Material success is all that matters to them, and those who haven’t achieved it are seen as beneath the rich. Tom, Daisy, etc. are like the piles of ashes in the valley. Their lives have no true purpose to them other than financial gain- for the most part, their lives are void. The ashes can be seen as the dead, and sometimes the greedy will rise from the ashes. The continuing formation of ash piles and environmental problems show how the American Dream is being twisted worse as the story continues. The Valley of Ashes represents everything that is wrong with the American Dream. The pursuit of such an amazing concept should never end with such an absolute failure. The Valley proves that not all can pursue their perfect life. While many lived non luxurious lifestyles, Jay Gatsby was not one of them- but for the wrong reasons. The green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock is a central symbol to the novel, as it represents Gatsby’s American Dream and his desire for the uncorrupted past. When Gatsby stretches
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