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Comparing the American Dream in Great Gatsby and Glass Menagerie

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby and The Glass Menagerie

For centuries, men and women from all over the world have seen in America a place where they could realize their dreams. We each dream our own American Dream. For some it is a vision of material prosperity, for others it can be a feeling of secure and safe. It can be the dream of setting goals. It can be about social justice, as Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech of “I have a dream”, says, in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. We believe in the American Dream because it does not fit with any temporary contentedness, rather it brings us the power for improvement and equality. However, why does the American Dream still fall? The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is considered as the representative of the decline of the American Dream, can give us some ideas of what it is about. The Great Gatsby describes the failure of American Dream, from the point of view that American political ideas conflict with actual conditions that exist. For whereas American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the truth is that social discrimination still exists and divisions among the classes cannot be overcome. Myrtle Wilson’s attempt to break into the Buchanans fails at last. She struggles herself to fit into an upper social group, pretends to be rich and scorns people from her own class. She does all these because she wants to find a place for herself in Tom Buchanan’s class but she does not succeed in doing so. Nearly all the characters in the story are materialistic and this included Fitzgerald himself. Fitzgerald mirrored his nation’s new attitude toward money: he was considerably more interested in making and spending it than in accumulating it. This is exactly what Tom and Daisy Buchanan are behaving. The roaring twenties is immortalized as a time of entertainment a glamorous movie stars and singers, high fashion, leisure activities, numerous radio shows and parties. In Highlight of American Literature, Dean Curry writes: The Great Gatsby reflects Fitzgerald’s deeper knowledge, his recognition that wanting to be happy does not insure one’s being so and that pursuit of entertainment may only cover a lot of pain.

Free Macbeth Essays: Character, Language, Atmosphere and Irony

Character, Language, Atmosphere and Irony in Macbeth

What kind of people are the characters in this drama? How can we decide? Characters in Shakespearean drama are judged by (i) their actions; (ii) what others say of them (iii) what they themselves say in public (iv) by what they say in soliloquy, i.e. when thinking aloud or in ‘asides’ . We tend to judge people by their actions and by what they say in public, but these are not always a true reflection of the real character; people do not always reveal themselves to others, so we can only accept this evidence with reservation. In ‘Macbeth’ we learn that Duncan has been deceived by the first Thane of Cawdor whom he considered to have been “a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust” yet who was guilty of treason. Again Lady Macbeth’s words to Duncan, Act I, Sc. vi “Your servants ever Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt, To make their audit at your highness’ pleasure, Still to return your own”, are spoken shortly after she has decided that he will be murdered. Only when they think aloud,(soliloquy), can we accept without reservation what they say. “In soliloquy lies truth”. At the same time there are different interpretations of a soliloquy, and of the tone in which it is spoken. It all depends on the reader’s attitude. It is a good approach to be open-minded, to attempt to look at both sides of the question, before arriving at a conclusion.

Language In Macbeth


Language is made up of words and sounds; it is concerned with creating effect by producing images and by placing words. It includes syntax, diction and even tone.

Imagery involves the working of the senses, the vivid description of an odour, a melody, a visual picture, of taste or touch. Syntax refers to the order of words in a sentence, the length of sentences. It is associated with diction and imagery, e.g. in the use of inversion (changing the normal order of words often for emphasis), eclipses (omitting certain words) and antithesis (setting one word or idea against another with the object of heightening the effect of what is said). Diction is the writer’s choice of words. The dramatist may use religious terms, technical terms, dialect, or may even create words. He may use multi-syllabic words, or monosyllabic words. The imagery in Shakespeare has been discussed elsewhere.

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