American Dream in American Literature - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
American Dream in American Literature

Like William Faulkner and other southern writers, she wanted to escape her birthplace. Her longings - the longings of an adolescent's American Dream - are reflected in her novel through the autobiographical character Mick Kelly. Mick's tomboyishness, her musical aspirations, and her dream to escape small-town life parallel McCullers' own life. To Mick, violin symbolizes freedom and opportunity. But when she feels that she cannot buy violin, she wants make one herself. This is the epitome of American Dream as seen from an adolescent's perspective, and the struggle to achieve it. But her tragedy comes from the obstacles she faces.
The hot afternoon passed slowly and Mick still sat on the steps by herself. This fellow Motsart's music was in her mind again. She wished there was some place she could go to hum it out loud" ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. p. 53)
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby manifests the decay of the values of American Dream. Gatsby is Fitzgerald's alter ego. They are self-made men. They achieve financial success for the love of a woman: Gatsby to win the hand of Daisy, and Fitzgerald for Zelda. But they realize that material success is not happiness. Both realize that wealth cannot buy you dreams. Gatsby dies chasing his dream, Daisy.
In "Death of a Salesman," Arthur Miller's hero Willy Loman lives an American nightmare. ...
Download paper

Summary

American dream is a reality and at the same time an illusion. It is a reality based on the proclamation in the closing line of the American National Anthem "the land of the free, and the home of the brave."
American dream was a revolutionist idea. It took shape as aspirations for religious freedom, equality, and an opportunity to succeed…
Author : hanehans

Related Essays

American Literature to 1865
In Young Goodman Brown and Bartleby, the Scrivener the protagonists live in a state of bliss or ignorance before coming to terms with reality. In Bartleby, the Scrivener the protagonist has no idea how the modern business life is affecting him. The narrator's self characterization is symbolic of how the modern man adapts himself to the business world. The financial security is all that matters to him. It makes him emotionally vapid. The office is another symbol to state this emptiness. The office is very depressing:
...
5 pages (1255 words) Book Report/Review
Comparative Literature Paper
More than stories about poverty, their ugly house and their families, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros are similar in many ways as these weave tales about strong women (both immigrant women of color) as they confront their lives in the US together with their families. They will show their courage and forge enormous strength to conquer the challenges they have to face. They will have to prove something, not just for themselves, but for their families as well. Comparing the two essays, we could almost smell the characters' well-being as...
7 pages (1757 words) Essay
Southern American Literature
Her feelings and thoughts can be seen in her writing of novels and poetry. She writes through her morals and feelings that she has grown with, she writes about the struggle of black woman for spiritual wholeness, political, racial equality.
...
6 pages (1506 words) Book Report/Review
"The Quiet American" by Graham Greene
Graham Greene was not a communist although it is obvious that he had tough feelings with regards to the Americans existence in Vietnam previous to the war and for the duration of the entire clash. Fowler desires to have a life for Phuong together with himself in Vietnam; however Pyle comes into sight, thinking the West distinguishes what's best for Vietnam and prepares to take her back towards America.
...
4 pages (1004 words) Book Report/Review
American Literature Book Report/Review
This idea gains considerable depth if we think of the story Barred Owl (Offutt). This story is arguably about displaced identities and homesickness, as it revolves about two Kentuckians who get acquainted in Colorado, a place where they've found themselves transplanted to.
...
7 pages (1757 words) Book Report/Review
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!