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Hello

In: English and Literature

Submitted By heyo530
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The traditional definition of "The American Dream" is the idea that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. Certainly, nowadays, the American Dream has more than one definition. For some of those who have come into the United States legally and illegally from third world countries, it means different things, one of which is a haven from poverty and starvation where they can be cared for freely. While some work and become independent, some people do not perceive "the American Dream" as being defined by working; instead, "the American Dream" is one of a benevolent government which takes care of the person his/her entire life through various federal programs. However, this latter idea has not yet become part of the canon of American literature. In the 1920's, the American Dream became materialized and one's character had less to do with success and the achievement of the dream. As a satire against this elevation of material success as the defining term of the American Dream, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his seminal novel, The Great Gatsby in which he portrays a morally corrupt wealthy class in the Eastern United States. They are "careless people" (as the narrator Nick Carraway remarks) in a restless and driving society that have tainted values--Daisy marries Tom Buchanan because he gives her a $350,000 pearl necklace--taking what they can get unscrupulously and discarding anyone who does not serve their purposes of social or financial advancement.
In a similar fashion, Arthur Miller's tragedy, Death of a Salesman(1949) depicts a man driven by the materialistic concept of the American Dream who sacrifices all that is truly meaningful in his attempts to impress others with his success. Consumed by this drive for "success," Willy Loman sacrifices his family as he cheats on his…...

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