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The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1497 words - 6 pages

American literature is much different from literature most authors write today. American

literature has meaning and a sturdy purpose. Three words with important meaning in society appear in

American literature. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or

restraint is the legal definition of freedom. Freedom allows people to express anything or do anything

they want to if it doesn't offend people and as long it isn't violating any rights of others. Without

freedom a lot of things would be stolen away from us. The state of being equal, especially in status,

rights, and opportunities is the legal definition for equality. Equality provides a safety barrier for people

because is assures them that no matter who they are they're going to have equal rights and opportunities

as the person standing next to them. A set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something is

the legal definition of opportunity. Opportunity is a chance someone can have to do something.

Without opportunities how can anything be accomplished? These three things all go hand in hand.

Without one it's hard to have the other two. This is why these three things put together is known as the

American dream. American literature teaches people of today's times how the American dream has

evolved and how it has affected the world around it.

Freedom is seen in American literature in the form of freedom being available and people

having it or in the form of freedom being taken away and freedom being unavailable. “That's all right-

that's all right- if you'll hold my box a minute, I'll go and get you a frog.”(Twain, 467). This quote is

from Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. This quote displays freedom

because in Mark Twain's time period, the idea of taking a frog from its natural habitat probably was not

a big deal at all and everyone else most likely had bigger and better things to worry about. The idea of

taking a frog would not have crossed the mind of someone's head and caused them to think that they

were doing a bad thing. In his time, people had the freedom to go take a frog and have no consequences

or fussing after it was all said and done. In today's society if someone were to read this story now and

read about how a man used a frog just for a bet they would ask many questions in their head about the

wellbeing of the frog and what happened to the frog after it was used. People today are more cautious

about nature and animals and how both should be treated. In Twain's time it was not a huge concern

because of the time it was and because of other things going on around them. Their freedoms were

different in what types of things they had freedom in and what types of things were strictly outlawed. “

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over

in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he...

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