A Critiscm On The Corruption Of The American Dream, Using The Works Of Fitzgeralds' The Great Gatsby And Miller's Death Of A Salesman

3200 words - 13 pages

"You see for me, America is an idea. It's that capacity to dream and then try to pull it off, if you can." (Bharati Mukeriee). The American Dream has become an idealistic way to live ones life. The American Dream has been a long-standing idea that in America all is possible. An idea that through the accumulation of wealth will come happiness. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. The American Dream as it stands has become corrupted. Since, the main goal of the American dream is to reach a monetary goal, people have abandoned the normal pursuits to reach this because they feel that reaching the ultimate goal is the final step, and they are more then happy, to take illicit paths to reach this dream. As this becomes more and more true, the American Dream is becoming corrupted because people are following a corrupted path, to a dream that they believe will bring them happiness when they achieve it. But the path they take, will bring them nowhere near happiness, but instead lead them to failure. A failure of knowing that they strived too long for a false dream. The American Dream is a corrupt dream that will not bring happiness to those that strive for it. Both Arthur Miller and F. Scott Fitzgerald believe this idea. The novels of Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby, focus on the corruption of the American Dream, and the seductive nature of it. But these authors did not write their novels to discourage a pursuit of a dream; they feel that instead of pursuing the American Dream, one should pursue his own dream and be true to himself.The traditional idea of the American Dream is presented in both novels. Within each work, the authors present the illusive American Dream, as many see it. The Dream is an uncorrupted one and those that achieve it reap the full benefits of the Dream. They show how each character desires to one day achieve the American Dream. Each author presents various reasons to why the main character wishes to reach that dream, but in the end for each character they feel that reaching the dream will bring them happiness. They are not sure how far they must go to reach that dream, but they see it as a possibility and they are striving for it because each characters feels that the Dream, will help to complete their lives. They do not think the Dream is unobtainable, because the Dream gives them hope in their lives, that one day it will be better. In Miller's work, Death of a Salesman, Ben constantly converses with Willy over his newly amassed fortune. "When I [Ben] was seventeen I walked into the jungle, and when I was twenty-one I walked out. And by God I was rich." (Miller p. 33) Miller presents Ben, as the American Dream we strive for. Ben went out and became rich. Miller includes Ben, not as a contrast to Willy, but to show what Willy could be. Anyone can be a Ben, but it is unlikely. But still, this does not stop Willy from striving to be like Ben, because the chance that he could be Ben is there. Also, Miller has Ben discover...

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