The Disillusionment of American Dream in Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night

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The disillusionment of American dream in the Great Gatsby and Tender is the night

Chapter I Introduction

F. Scott Fitzgerald is the spokesman of the Jazz Age and is also one of the greatest novelists in the 20th century. His novels mainly deal with the theme of the disillusionment of the American dream of the self-made young men in the 20th century. In this thesis, Fitzgerald’s two most important novels The Great Gatsby(2003) and Tender is the Night(2005) are analyzed. Both these two novels tell us the story of the pursuit and failure of the American dream of the young men in the twenties. Jay Gatsby is the central character of The Great Gatsby and Dick Diver is the counterpart of Tender Is the Night and both these two men fall in
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She is the daughter of a millionaire, but unfortunately she is the victim of the incest and has a serious mental disease. As a doctor, Dick is sympathetic with her and wants to cure her to realize his American dream—that’s to get the admission and acceptance of the upper class, so he marries her and devotes more than his decade of life to curing her. But Nicole leaves him after her recovery and turns to her new lover, Tommy Barban. Dick goes back to his hometown quietly. “Dick’s weaknesses and his identity as a ‘spoiled priest’ are rooted in his personality—his egotism and desire to please and be loved that transform him into a social climber whose natural idealism is finally corrupted by the amoral values of his flock.” (Stavola 1979:148) We are not allowed to forget that both Jay Gatsby and Dick Diver are the representative figures of the American dream of the 20th century. Both these two men come from a family with little or no money, but they manage to attend a famous university—Oxford to raise their social positions. When the rising young men are halfway


to the top, they fall in love with the rich and beautiful girls from the upper class, and they win the rich girls but at last are destroyed by their wealth or their relatives. “Their real dream was that of achieving a new status and a new essence, of rising to a loftier place in

the mysterious hierarchy of human worth.” 4

To understand the pursuers of the

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