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The American Dream; a literary perspective


It is articulated in The Declaration of Independence that all man are created equal and that

they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and pursuit of
happiness.
Since early days of the American literature the American dream is an ideal. Characteristically,
throughout different time periods the dream has undergone deviations, even though it is in general a
notion of liberty, independence, and a yearning for a little bit more of everything. In the last century, the
American dream has all the time more paid attention to material stuff as a signal of counted as successful.
Despite of the materialism the American citizens have in unison as America has progressed, have
endeavored to classify and elaborate the "American Dream."
Thousands of literary master pieces have tackled this topic directly or indirectly, amongst which
the mainly well-known are Huckleberry Finn, The Crucible, Streetcar named Desire, The Great Gatsby.
The list is long but these bring out the myth of an American dream out of the cloud clearly that it will stay
a myth and nothing more. George Carlin presented it as: they call it the American Dream because

you have to be asleep to believe in it.


The Crucible symbolizes the American Dream of early days when normal people were trying to
escape maltreatment and make a fresh start in North America. The American Dream is depicted in the
character of the affiliates such as the John Proctor. John Proctor exactly knew that lying will save his life
but he up stood the path of righteousness and decided dying is better than confessing to something not
done by him. The American Dream for John Proctor is merely to maintain his name and exist peacefully
liberated from the pressures of the civilization. How may I live without my name? I have given you

my soul; leave me my name! (Miller 240). This was when America was young and the American
Dream was in its infancy stage, the pure and original a dream which got corrupted as America grew up.

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In a Streetcar named Desire three diverse aspects of American dream are portrayed by the three
characters. Stanley is trying to accomplish his American dream via his personal efforts and at the same
time he wants Stella to sell the family property. In addition, he does believe that the US is the land of
opportunities and corresponds to industrialization and multiculturalism of American society. His
American dream is cemented in the extensively collective belief of the Americans offering identical and
unrestricted opportunities with a promise for growth for those who show a great work ethic, despite the
class he belonged to (Perucci & Wysong, 45-46). Whereas Blanche has her American dream as her only
way to success, her idea of American dream is to attain social status as it is the social status accredited to
her by means of her origins and education which are summoned whenever she is anxious (Schwecke
2005).
The American dream of Gatsby is a nave dream based on the fallacious assumption that

material possessions are synonymous with happiness, harmony, and beauty (Fahey 70). His
American dream was besmirched by the society around him showing off wealth and lavishness. The Great
Gatsby is a exceedingly figurative deliberation on America as a whole in the1920s, particularly the
crumbling of the American dream in an age of unparalleled material and affluence surfeit.
The values have absolutely altered, as an alternative of equality, people merely want to get richer
and richer. It is not a surprise to know that the American Dream has turned into a myth as people are not
being treated uniformly as the dream promises and that social discrimination still exists and is augmented
with racial and gender discrimination.

Works Cited
Churchwell, Sarah. "The Great Gatsby and the American dream." The Guardian25 May 2012: n.
pag. Print.
Perucci, Robert and Wysong, Earl. The New Class Society: Good-bye American
Dream? Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2008. Print
Schweke, Jessica. The Reception of the American Dream in Tennessee Williams play
A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Millers play Death of a Salesman.
Germany: GRIN Verlag. 2005. Print
Fahey, William. F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream. New York: Thomas Y.
Crowell Company, 1973.Print

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