Themes Of The American Dream

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The Struggle of the American Dream

From the 1800’s to the 1900’s, many pieces of literary work explain the significance of the American dream in many different ways. The American dream was not always a success for some. The cause of failure of the American dream can be described as “the level of subconscious hopes, illusions and individual ideals.” (Schestakov). As a result, while the American dream is a reality for most, for some, it 's only an illusion or an imaginary dream people can only hope will come true. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and "Harlem" by Langston Hughes, the theme of the American dream is represented through negation, dishonesty, and delay.
In The Adventures
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For example, in the first chapter of the novel, Huck explains his living situation after his father left him: “The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize’ me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand no longer I lit out” (2). Huck begins to explain to us readers how he views society. His mischievous, rebellious ways demonstrate to us how he wanted to live only by his own rules- free to do what he pleased and without consequence. Huck tends to treat all laws and rules as a joke, not taking authority seriously. Some of Huck’s views are influenced from his friend Tom, another rebellious, young kid who also helps further Huck’s beliefs in going against the rules he’s to oblige to. As a result, Huck is fed up of the Widow’s rules, he decides to "go for howling adventures amongst the Injuns, over in the Territory" (365). Unfortunately, he finds that he is unable to escape civilization and ultimately “Huck will not find the "virgin" land he seeks among the Indians in the already settled territory.” …show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the American dream is revealed through dishonesty. On account of Nick Carraway in the beginning of the story, we are introduced to a character named Jay Gatsby. Nick quickly learns that Gatsby is a liar, explaining how Gatsby told him his story: “He looked at me sideways—and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase ‘educated at Oxford,’ or swallowed it or choked on it as though it had bothered him before.” (70-71.) Gatsby’s lies begin with his background. As far as Nick or anyone else knows, he was born into his wealth. Accordingly, his family died and left the money to him, which he took and traveled the world and created himself with. Once Nick gains Gatsby’s trust later on, we learn that the majority of his story was a lie. While he did grow up in the Midwest, he was not born into his money. After dropping out of school and becoming a janitor, he later on began selling liquor illegally and (probably) was involved in another criminal affairs. In addition to his many lies, his “dream” also rides on the back of his former lover Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby’s dream was preoccupied with the idea of winning back Daisy from her husband. For example, Gatsby throws a party to get her attention. Later that night, disappointedly he says, “She didn’t like it,’ he said immediately . . . ‘She didn’t have a good time.’ . . . ‘I feel far away from her,’ he said. ‘It’s hard to make her understand.’” (117). Gatsby’s dream

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