The American Dream In Death Of A Salesman And The Great Gatsby

1295 words - 5 pages

Since Columbus made land, people have been searching for the “American Dream”. Many people have their own idea and ideas that have changed over a period of time, but what exactly is the “American Dream” defined as .Origins of the dream have been rooted in the pioneering mentality of the eighteenth and nineteenth century immigrants, most who came to America because of a promise for a new and better life. The American Dream was sought through hard work and determination. After the time of the World Wars, society changed and so did the view of the “American Dream”, it changed from a potential reality into being a dream. People were striving to reach their definition of the American Dream. Beliefs and values took a turn. The American Dream was put up on a pedestal, corrupted by false values and society was pressured by their desires and greed. “The avarice of mankind is insatiable”, was stated twenty-three centuries prior by Aristotle, so this was nothing new. Success and fortune have been a downfall in the search for the American Dream. It has corrupted society’s ethics in all, family values and morals, and psychological well-being. In part to the fact that “The American Dream” and the way Americans wish to live can be unreachable by the average person. Society once was based on truth, passion, and liberty for all but now is a mere illusion, focusing on money, power and how to reach it; portraying materialism and wealth as the “American Dream” and self-actualization, as portrayed by Miller in Death of a Salesman.
The American Dream came to mean fame and fortune, instead of a promise that shaped a nation. (David Kamp, Vanity Fair) This so- called dream has done incredible damage to our companies and corporations in America. As economic success and industrialization grew, American society evolved. It had became apparent that people would do anything to crawl up the ladder of success, often knocking down anyone in their way; as evident in the way Willy acts that his want for money consumes him. Pressures on society to live the dream can make feelings of low self-worth and turn into pushing people to go further to achieve by any means necessary. The American Dream does not only represent honesty and truth. It has not been uncommon for big CEO’s of companies to lie, cheat and steal to achieve their “American Dream”. This has been common throughout our history of economics. As society grows, wealth is the common denominator for success, and one starts to look up to these people at the top of the ladder to have achieved the dream. These people, who are anything but ethical, are the ones who influence society as what it takes to achieve and live the dream. "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919" (The Great Gatsby, page 78). The dream became so focused on money that any means of a obtaining it were condoned, even if it were unscrupulous. Result of American dream being corrupted is that the motivation and ambition were gone...

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