The American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The American Dream in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In a majority of literature written in the 20th century, the theme of the ' American Dream" has been a prevalent theme. This dream affects the plot and characters of many novels, and in some books, the intent of the author is to illustrate the reality of the American Dream.

However, there is no one definition of the American Dream. Is it the right to pursue your hearts wish, to have freedom to do whatever makes one happy? Or is it the materialistic dream prevalent in the 50's, and portrayed in such movies as Little Shop of Horrors? Or is the American Dream a thought so intangible, it changes in the heart of every
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Such was not the case in Death of a Salesman. Willy's dream is to be rich, at whatever cost. In the end, Willy's only option to become rich was to commit suicide, and collect life insurance, and Willy accepted that. Willy had an admiration for his brother Ben, who became very rich. It didn't matter to Willy that Ben died at the age of 21, he died rich. In the play, Willy is seeking the American materialistic dream, despite the fact that he realizes the futility of it. Willy knows that by the time he pays off his possessions, they will be worthless. By the time Willy paid off his house, the boys had moved out and Willy was dead. Miller is showing the depression and sadness that this dream leads to. And despite it all, Willy's younger son, Happy( an excellent pun) decides to follow in his fathers footsteps, and try to become rich.

Then, there is the other American Dream. To pursue happiness, no matter what the cost or the outcome. The authors are saying that the American Dream lies not in making money, but in being spiritually and emotionally fulfilled. In The Great Gatsby, this is the dream that Gatsby had. He wanted love. He wanted Daisy, at any costs. Gatsby knew he needed to be rich in order to attain Daisy, so he became rich. He worked hard, he engaged in illegal activities, but he became rich. He had attained the American Dream so many others sought to achieve, that of material fulfillment, but Gatsby was not