In ‘Of Mice and Guys’ by John Steinbeck and ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald how do the authors represent The American Dream and its results on the main characters?The Great Gatsby
and Of Mice of Male are two novels of significant contrast in setting, which is intriguing as they are only set one decade apart. With World War 1 having ended in 1919 with the Versailles Peace Treaty, America started the’roaring twenties ‘which was a duration of economic might. The power of America’s economy at this time is typically overlooked due to the existence of prohibition, gangsters, the Jazz Age and the Ku Klux Klan. It is remarkable to be able to compare two novels, written in such short succession, that have two totally contrasting views on American life. The 1920’s saw America as being the wealthiest country in the world
, facing no popular competitor. However, the apparent juncture for the countries economic state was most certainly the stock exchange crash in 1929, leaving America in a state of depression. F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck offer the readers a vibrant snapshot into the lives of citizens in these two decades. The American Dream is a typical phrase which explains the underlying drive of American society. The ubiquitous”rags to riches”legend ended up being the foundation of American society; anybody might be successful and achieve wealth if they worked hard. In’The Great Gatsby’, Jay Gatsby is the epitome of the American Dream. F Scott Fitzgerald personifies the American Dream into his character Gatsby and the life that he lives out. Gatsby is an enigmatic character, he does not speak until chapter three but is mentioned prior to we fulfill him– ‘You need to understand Gatsby.’. His track record precedes him, nevertheless what people know of him is shallow. He is a collection of material things’His Rolls-Royce ‘and’his two motor boats’, he has no real personality type since yet that the reader can perceive. He is, like the American Dream, hard to come into contact with. In addition to this, Nick Caraway’s affection of Gatsby emulates the desire and attraction of his character, ‘It was among those unusual smiles with a quality of eternal peace of mind in it’. His success and riches brought with them a magnetic pull that brings other people to him ‘Individuals were not invited– they went there ‘, this makes him look like a personification of The American Dream as he brings an impression of joy. The people who imagine a much better life on their own are like the’guys and girls [who] reoccured like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars’, hello wish to follow in the steps of Gatsby and his success story. He is the living example of the american dream. Fitzgerald dives further than this surface view of Gatsby, enabling the reader to comprehend the darker side to his success, it becomes a growing number of evident that the American Dream and all that it brings is not whatever it can appear on the surface. The struggle Gatsby faces in accomplishing all that he hopes for draws out a negative side to him that the narrator Nick Caraway ends up being mindful of,’ He extended his arms toward the dark water in a curious method, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was shivering. Uncontrolled I glanced seaward-and recognized nothing except a single thumbs-up, minute far way, that might have been completion of a dock’. Although Gatsby seems to have everything, there is constantly the’green light’, which represents hope for him, to reach for and its distance has a negative impact on him. Moreover, the negative effects of the growing materialism and truth of the American Dream in the 1920’s is mostly highlighted through the advancement of Jay Gatsby’s character. It emerges that his success originated from unethical and unlawful activity, he is a’high-end bootlegger’ and this reveals the lessened sense of ethical worth and the corruption of the American Dream.
The reality of this highlights to the reader that the wholesome image projected to the world of the journey from immigrant to insanely abundant is not one that is obtainable by means of strong will and a hearty serving of passion, it is a dream that is just possible through breaking the rules. This totally contradicts the basis of the dream itself. On top of this, Gatsby’s lack of deep relationships is, not only saddening, however an unfavorable impact of the american dream on his life. The extent of his desire had actually locked out those around him on a psychological level, his relationship with his
daddy highlights this–‘ever since he made a success he was very generous with me’. Gatsby used his cash as a way of connecting to others, it seems as though he has no real ability to lose his facade as’ Jay Gatsby ‘instead of’James Gatz ‘and link to others. Although it might be seen as a favorable effect of the success of his american dream that he has bonded with his father ‘Henry C. Gatz’, ultimately they had a monetary relationship; Gatsby disappeared unique to his father than a devoted lender may have been. His success brought him seclusion,’I discovered myself on Gatsby’s side, and alone.’, and he did not achieve his supreme goal: marrying Daisy Buchanan. Fitzgerald produces pathos for Gatsby in his final scenes by illustrating his own realisation of life and what has become of his own. He understands’what a monstrous thing a rose is ‘which is a symbol of his realisation of the superficialness of his own success. He realises, ironically, moments prior to his death what the industrialisation and the’roaring twenties ‘actually brought;’A brand-new world, product, without being real, where bad ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drift luckily about’. Not just Gatsby, however other characters and aspects
of the novel highlight the unfavorable impacts of the augmentation of wealth and glamour in 1920’s America. ‘The Valley of Ashes’is a visual representation of the destruction that resulted from the American Dream becoming a water fountain of moral decay. Nick Caraway explains the valley as’A fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens.’ this could be seen as a warning from Fitzgerald as to how New york city could turn out if individuals keep acting upon such loose moral fiber. The Valley of Ashes is a discarding ground for all the waste from growing New york city, this is emphasised by Myrtle Wilson and her life at the garage in the valley. She lives permanently in an ‘unprosperous and bare ‘garage, with a male who is obviously not successful and ‘spiritless ‘, no doubt since of his lack of wealth. Myrtle and Tom Buchanan’s affair highlights the point that the American Dream is corrupted. She is taking an easy escape into a life of riches, instead of going by what the American Dream when stood for, hard work and determination. Tom and Myrtle’s affair emphasise the lack of morals along with the development of wealth and materialism. In addition to this, it suggests that New York, which was when a sign of industrialisation and effort is now home to negligent unethical behaviour– ‘Tom Buchanan broke her nose with the palm of his hand ‘and not only their affair, but Gatsby’s and Daisy’s also. Daisy and Tom’s relationship is torn apart by the intro of’brand-new money’into their lives, nevertheless they remain together in the end, highlighting the sense of commitment in the ‘old cash’that is not seen in the new.’The Great Gatsby’as an entire, shines a harsh light onto the industrialisation and success of America in the 1920’s and on the truth of the American Dream. It ends up being obvious to the reader that this dream, developed on such a moral and important structure, has deep mistakes such as desire and aspiration which remain in many ways harmful. Of Mice and Guys’, although embeded in a completely different time, is a novel which also stresses the devastating aspects of the American Dream. However, John Steinbeck also explores the positive impacts that hope can have on individuals lives. He does this from a considerably contrasting angle to that of Fitzgerald, not just is this novel set on little rural farm, however it is set a years later on during the anxiety of the 1930’s significance that the American Dream is more prominent than ever in the minds of the employees in ‘Of Mice and Guys’. John Steinbeck’s view of the American Dream is not entirely unfavorable, he demonstrates how the hope it brings can bond people together and seal relationships. The obvious example of this is the relationship of George and Lennie. George emphasises to the reader that a life working throughout the anxiety is lonely ‘Person’s like us that deal with
ranches, are the loneliest people worldwide.’, however what makes them different is the truth that they have each other,’We got somebody to talk with that provides a damn about us.’. What enhances their relationship is their shared dream to ‘live off the fatta the lan ‘. Steinbeck’s view of the American Dream varies to that of Fitzgerald because when times were good economically, the dream ended up being more of an entitlement than an objective to work towards. People began to dream of a faster way to riches, instead of the effort that came with it. The American Dream that is plentiful in ‘Of Mice and Males’is one
of self sufficiency, having the ability to offer themselves without needing to work for a greater power and not just this but belonging of defense on their own in an unkind world. George utilizes completion objective of ‘tending the bunnies’to inspire Lennie to be well acted and in addition to this, to keep himself going when he seems like quiting on Lennie. This shows that the American Dream in theory was somewhat great for the mental wellness of working americans in the depression. The dream permitted them to get in touch with one another. Crooks, who is depicted as bitter and dissatisfied throughout the unique, appears to prefer absolutely nothing more than to feel a sense of belonging in his life. This might describe why although the dream Lennie and George have may appear unattainable, he does not hesitate to ask if he can become a part of it, since what the dream brings is a sense of hope and belonging for him on the farm. The picturesque opening to the unique brings a sense of goodness and hope in the land of America ‘the Salinas River drops in near to the hill-side bank and runs deep and green.’The serenity of the opening scene highlights the concept of the American Dream being possible. This hope is contrasted nevertheless by the lives of those who have lived through the anxiety, and the fading of their hope reveals that the American Dream is not an obtainable one.’There is a path through the willows and amoung the sycamores, a path beaten hard by young boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten difficult by tramps who come wearily below the highway at night to jungle-up near water
.’This plain contrasts highlights the prominence of the American Dream bringing hope into the lives of the American individuals, particularly the young. The younger generation are full of hope and dreams for the success of their futures, but the older generations have actually seen the reality and are wearied from it, similar to the old tramps. In many of the central characters of the novel, it becomes apparent that the depression has actually had a deep result on them, and that the existence of the american dream simply brings regret and sadness along with a setting of such
deep disappointment and darkness. A prime example of this is Curley’s wife. She has plenty of regret for not following her dreams to be an actress, ‘If I ‘d went, I wouldn’t be living like this you bet. and rather she is stuck in an unfulfilling marital relationship. Her character is a representation of the little effect a life has on individuals unless you do something, she dies and even her spouse Curley reveals little connection with her’ He ran furiously out of the barn.’ There almost appears to be a little sense of enjoy having an excuse to revenge Lennie for breaking his arm. Curley’s wife’s death reveals that individuals will pass away without having actually made the impact that they believed they would have. The concept of the american dream is simply that, a dream. There is no actuality in it, in the end all the characters leave her in the barn and she is alone. She leaves the world hardly any various from the method she entered it. Her death underlines another style of the novel, it seems as though the doubt in the american dream is there all along. The American Dream is simply something to keep them going in hard times, but it is difficult– George admits he knows this,’ I think I knowed from the very initially.
I believe I understood we ‘d never ever do her ‘. He remarks, due to the fact that Lennie”[ …] usta like to find out about it a lot I got to thinking perhaps we would”. Although the hopes they have are something of a motivation for them, thats all they are, they will never ever amount to anything more. In conclusion, the two novels present the American Dream in such a way which produces damage. The course to success brings with it a deformed sense of morals and an unstable desire to get ahead. In contrast to this there is a belief in a wholesome american dream, which one would think would bring a great dosage of drive for the employees in america.
Although, as Steinbeck explores, it does this to an extent, it clearly ends up being tough to believe in something which is so seemingly unachievable. A concept that comes strongly out of both the books is one of the truth of dreams. This juxtaposition stresses the importances of dreams remaining a far-off figure of our creativity; for as quickly as they get too close, or indeed too far they end up being a warped and destructive power in our lives which exclusively bring dissatisfaction. The endings of the death of the main characters in both the books bring this to conclusion light. Either the dream is not as perfect and picturesque as we developed it up to be, or is
so unattainable that it damages our view of the truth that we live in.