I Have A Dream... Essay

2279 words - 9 pages

In Congress, July 4, 1776, the 3rd President of the United States of America-Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence. The declaration was stated that: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It seems that the search of liberty and happiness was rooted in the American spirit. Americans also believe in the equality among people. They think they can be anyone or they can do anything only if they have determined to do it-nothing cannot be done. Imagine, the world will become Heaven-a world without inequality; without invincible difficulty and anyone will be so happy. This is the dream that many Americans have-However, is this American Dream really so good and perfect? Originally, this dream is related to a desire for spiritual and material improvement. However, something has happened-the material aspect of this dream seemed to be too easily and too quickly achieved. The gap between the progress of material and spiritual development in the society was becoming bigger and bigger. Finally, the material one defeated the spiritual one and people started to forget the purpose of their life. The novel The Great Gatsby (1925) by Francis Scott Fitzgerald is a story about the American Dream-Jay Gatsby is a firm believer in the American Dream of self-made success. But he is also a victim of it. In his quest for the dream, he faces the strike from the cruel materialistic world. Even he tries very hard to fight for his dream, he finally fails and the price of the quest of dream was death. From the eyes of the narrator, Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald presented us the failure of Gatsby in quest for dream-also a failure of the American Dream-a transformation from an ideal dream to a material reality.In order to know why the notion of American Dream was distorted in the 20s, we have to understand some historical background first. Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is considered the defining work of the 1920s of America. This period is also known as the "Jazz Age". It was a period between World War One and the Great Depression of the early 1930s. In the 1920s, America had just come out of World War One. Many Americans lost their lives in the battle field which was far away from America. Many families lost their children and parents. Suffering through this war, Americans felt that they should find happiness in order to forget this pain.Also, because of the industrialization and urbanization, they experienced an economic boom-life became more comfortable and people had everything like food and money. And at the same time, life of the riches became more empty and aimless- Conservatism and moderation were thrown out of the national window. Instead, pleasure-seeking and fast times became the national values. For example, many rich people would have parties every night in their big houses. Money...

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