The American Dream: A Look at Its Reflection in Literature
The American Dream is an ideal that has captured the imaginations of people around the world. It is the belief that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve success and prosperity in the United States. While this idea has been embedded in the country’s culture for centuries, it has been reflected in American literature as well. From novelists to poets, many writers have used their work to communicate their perspectives on the American Dream. Here are some American Dream writing examples.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is one of the most famous novels that portrays the American Dream. It follows Jay Gatsby, a wealthy businessman who throws elaborate parties in hopes of getting the attention of his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. Through the novel, Fitzgerald portrays the downfalls of the American Dream. Gatsby’s obsession with wealth and status ultimately leads to his downfall, highlighting the way many people pursue their dreams at the cost of everything else.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
In this novella, Steinbeck explores the lives of migrant workers during the Great Depression. The American Dream is a recurring theme throughout the story, as each character has their aspirations and dreams. The two main characters, George and Lennie, dream of owning land and having their own farm. However, despite their longing for a better life, the harsh realities of their situation ultimately prevent them from achieving their dreams.
Langston Hughes’ Poems
Langston Hughes was known for his work that celebrated and portrayed the lives of African Americans. In his poetry, he reflects on the African American experience and their struggles to achieve the American Dream. In his poem “Let America Be America Again,” Hughes challenges the notion that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in the United States. He writes about the dream that America was meant to represent and compares it to the reality many people face, emphasizing how difficult it is for marginalized communities to achieve their dreams.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
This play is a critique on the American Dream and the idea that anyone can achieve success if they work hard enough. It follows Willy Loman, a salesman who becomes disillusioned with his life as he struggles to keep up with the changing times. Despite his hard work and years of dedication to his company, he finds himself unable to achieve his dreams. The play highlights the unrealistic expectations that the American Dream creates and the pressures that society puts on individuals to succeed.
In conclusion, many American writers have used their work to explore the American Dream and its impact on people’s lives. These American Dream writing examples are just a few of the many works that reflect on this ideal. Despite the criticism and questioning of the American Dream, it remains an integral part of American culture and literature.
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