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Kane, Gatsby, And The American Dream

1133 words - 5 pages

The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Citizen Kane a movie directed by Orson Welles are both monumental stories in American society as they both represent the American dream at it’s most brilliant high. The Great Gatsby is all about time and the American dream; it is essentially what consumes Gatsby. Both Kane and Gatsby are representations of the American dream, and as we read into their stories we see that time and the dream become so intertwined that it is hard to see them apart. Other key factors play into this such as the failed pursuit of love and being in a sea of admirers and feeling like you are the only person there.
Jay Gatsby reinvents himself at the ripe young age of seventeen; this is when he officially starts his new life. A life that soon involves Daisy, suddenly Gatsby is in a deep love and when this love is lost he spends the remainder of his life trying to win her back. Gatsby’s obsession with his past with Daisy ultimately becomes his downfall, he is so engrossed with the idea of winning Daisy back with a flashy lifestyle that he fails to move forward with his life. This is a representation of the American Dream. The fact that every day as a country we go out into the world and chase our past, chase what we so hopelessly wish for, we end up basically chasing our tails because we fail to realize that as we existed, immersed in this hope of achieving greatness that somewhere out there our dreams happened without us. But we go on, we push harder every day, and every day the dream pushes back. Nick Carraway knows this flaw of the human condition as he states that; “Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, and one fine morning—“(189). “It is an incomplete thought because there is no one fine morning, there is no one moment where we run fast enough to be what we wanted to be or do what we wanted to do, so instead we beat on like boats against a current, striving forward but always pushed back towards our past.” (Ceaseless) The same would be said for Charles Kane, he is a man of great success, like Gatsby, and he wishes he had the chance to rehash something that has long past him by. Unlike Gatsby however, Kane would like to relive his childhood, something Gatsby destroyed. Kane’s last utterance, “rosebud” is a large standing testament to his want to return to childhood. Throughout the movie we see him as a large, powerful figure that is newsworthy for scandals and successes among other things. We realize though that the things that made him who he was, were not the things that made him such a renowned figure, it was the things that drove him and although we never truly understand what those things are, we can speculate. And the last word, “rosebud” is certainly an argument to that because it is the last thing we understand of him, and it is essentially him being at his most venerable and most alone time. When he leaves his family he is embarking on a lonely trail, Thatcher is a money obsessed...

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