This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The American Dream Failure. Grapes Of Wrath And Gatsby High School English Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Eva smorczewska
"The American Dream often becomes a disappointing reality in the
Literature of this period.” In light of this view, compare The Great Gatsby with The Grapes of Wrath.
American dream is a big theme running through American literature. Discovered in 1492- later then Europe and the east; America held a reputation for undiscovered, unknown potential and hope for anyone to benefit from. As well as the dream that with enough hard work anything can be achieved. In both novels- The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath you can see how all characters are attempting to complete their dream and how inevitably they nearly all lead to disappointment.
In Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, Jay Gatsby himself has the most ambition for his dream. Nick Carraway describes it as an “extraordinary gift for hope” that was “never found in any other person”. He made it his goal to win back the love of his life Daisy Buchanan. He earns his fortune in a criminal and mysterious way, which already undermines the innocence of the American dream, as it was not honest work. This sets his dream up for disappointment early and makes in unachievable from the start. The disappointment comes when he and Daisy reconnect and we find out that her alluring “low, thrilling voice” that Gatsby is attracted to the most is “full of money” demonstrating that the pure dream that Gatsby first though of has been corrupted by materialism and greed. “The jingle of it, the cymbal song of it” all have connotations of imagery of coins and money showing that the craving of opulence has clouded Gatsby’s love for her. Then it was clear that “the colossal significance” of his dream had “vanished forever” and ended in disappointment for everyone. Critic Kathleen Parkinson states “he is blind to both the corruption he seeks to realize in his dream and the impossibility of daisy’s ever measuring up to this vision of her”. He was so obsessed with the dream he had in his head nothing could have ever lived up to his expectations of what it should be so was bound for disappointment from the start. Money plays a big part in the disappointment of the American Dream as it is what people fixate on and takes away the integrity of the dream. This is indicated in Grapes of wrath when the farm owners in California cut the wages of the workers because they knew they were desperate enough to take the deal.
Set in the roaring 20s, the people living in The Great Gatsby are at the peak of the American dream nation wide. After the war everyone was affluent and money was everywhere. Such as the newly developed stock businesses- especially in New York where the financial boom made “the parties the bigger” and “morals looser”. Moving forward to the 1930s where The Grapes...

Find Another Essay On the american dream failure. grapes of wrath and gatsby - High school english - essay

The American Dream in Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

1210 words - 5 pages The American Dream is something that many Americans, as well as people from all over the world, strive to accomplish. Although it has progressed over time, many people still want to grasp a hold of it. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath represent the struggle of migrant workers and the unrealistic concept of the American dream. Steinbeck illustrates the impossibility of the American Dream in the 1930s through George and

The Role of Female Characters in American Literature: The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1166 words - 5 pages For readers who observe literature through a feminist lens, they will notice the depiction of female characters, and this makes a large statement on the author’s perception of feminism. Through portraying these women as specific female archetypes, the author creates sense of what roles women play in both their families and in society. In books such as The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the roles

The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages wealth, leaving the most valuable wealth, morality, behind. But even more sinister are those who have everything but want more. The worthless crowd of millionaires, the owners of The Bank in The Grapes of Wrath and Tom, Daisy, and Jordan in The Great Gatsby, cheats the common man for its own benefit. Its mind, overflowing with materialistic ideas, does not stop to think about others when there is money involved. Its thirst for riches is a beast; it

Greed In The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1179 words - 5 pages The Modernist movement took place in a time of happiness, a time of sadness, a time of objects, a time of saving, a time of prosperity, a time of poverty and in a time of greed. Two novels, written by Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, portray this underlying greed and envy better than most novels of that period. These novels, The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, show that despite the difference between the 1920s and the 1930s, greed remained a

Elusive American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

1151 words - 5 pages The Elusive American Dream in Miller's Death of a Salesman and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath The American dream of success through hard work and of unlimited opportunity in a vast country actually started before America was officially America, before the colonists broke away from England and established an independent country. That dream has endured and flourished for hundreds of years; as a result, American writers naturally turn to it for

Love between Social Classes in The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby

1670 words - 7 pages emotional. However, it is the type of need that differentiates the recipients and continues to separate the two castes seemingly unified in deprivation. Through the underlying theme of love between social classes, both The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath shine as one in portraying an unchanging aspect of American Modernism. Against the fluid backdrop of Modernism, the authors John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald stand out with their rigid

Masculinity portrayed in the Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Glass Menagerie

713 words - 3 pages Masculinity is a well known stereotype that often defines men as being tough, strong, and having no emotions. In most cases, their work tends to identify their level of masculinity. In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the male characters create their identities through their abilities to provide for their families. In these three texts, the males

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

1196 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath are superb models of individual and settings’ contrasting elements. Each novel is respectively set in different decades and both serve as foils of another. In regards to the “American Dream,’’ Great Gatsby and Grapes of Wrath are examples of two separate, yet similar paths of this vision; Gatsby is the respective “Promised land” and contrastingly, Grapes is “hell on

Mother Roles in the Novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

1240 words - 5 pages , their roles as the mother in the novels The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath greatly differ in their responsibility in their family, their treatment of their children, and their family morals, with Ma outshining Daisy as a true mother. While Daisy’s responsibility in her family is very small and separated, Ma’s responsibilities are very vital to her family. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy didn’t have any real responsibilities. Her basic role in

The Impossibility of the American Dream Through Steinbeck: Shows that the American Dream is unattainable through John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. 4 pgs long, double spaced

1081 words - 4 pages Of Mice and Men and the same author's The Grapes of Wrath. In the first, two men with the names Lennie and George roam California in the 1930's, hunting for ranches to work on. However, Lennie is mentally ill and always provokes trouble, driving the two companions to become fugitives until the next rural occupation. The American Dream motivates the two men; their version being a homestead with crops and rabbits, until George reluctantly shoots

The American Dream (discussion of the problems that arose when trying to reach the American Dream, based on three films, "Citizen Kane", "Grapes of Wrath", and "Death of a Salesman.")

2912 words - 12 pages superficial things in the American Dream do not truly achieve it.This paper will discuss the ownership of the American Dream and the aspect of how the search for something better leads to the intangible and the never ending "pursuit of happiness." The readings of Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence," and excerpts from "The Live of Working Men and Women," as well as the films, The Grapes of Wrath, and Citizen Kane, Death of a Salesman will be

Similar Essays

Failures Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

1290 words - 5 pages American Dream. However, in both cases, the characters fall short at achieving the basic ideas of that dream; social development, wealth achievement, and endless opportunity. The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby imitate the same ideas in the way that all characters fail to obtain the American Dream, and in the process, they fail themselves. Part of the American Dream is the hope of advancing, in some way, socially; both Gatsby and the

The American Dream As Shown In The Novels The Grapes Of Wrath And The Great Gatsby

572 words - 2 pages "founded securely on a fairy's wing" (Fitzgerald 100).Both books also ended in references of the American Dream. The great Gatsby ended on a note of going back to the past, a past when the simplicity of the Dream was not blemished with the mounting materialism of society. The Grapes of Wrath ended on a note of hope for the future. In desperate circumstances and a hopeless situation altruism and optimism were still present.The American dream is just that, a dream, concealing but not entirely suppressing the brutality of reality.John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath F Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath

974 words - 4 pages makes the weakest link plummet. The true American Dream can be chased, but exists if and only if the one trying for it can accept failure and move on. This continually presents itself in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Taking place in the height of the Great Depression, Grapes depicts the Joads, a family with no wealth that loses everything due to foreclosure and repossession. This family

Essay Comparing The Great Gatsby And The Grapes Of Wrath Year 13 English Essay

1445 words - 6 pages for half an hour. But it wasn’t any use. Nobody came’. Thus, we see in Gatsby and Muley Graves how desire makes them put their personal interest above the needs of the community. We also see in American literature the break-up of families, thus destroying the natural community of the family unit. In The Grapes of Wrath, Connie and Rose of Sharon, a young and vibrant couple, have high hopes for their future together. As the couple refuses to