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Compare and contrast the treatment of the American dream in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

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In fact, he reveals that Gatsby himself had many cars such as Chauffeur, the station wagon and a flashy Rolls Royce, which symbolized to the society who the person is. In this regard, Fitzgerald reveals that it was not only having the car, wearing expensive clothes or owning a beautiful house that was important rather showing them off to the community (Fitzgerald 28). As much as Jay Gatsby believes that acquiring material wealth is the means to personal fulfillment as portrayed in the Great Gatsby, the Death of a Salesman, by Miller appear to reverse this concept arguing that personal success is a means to acquiring the material dream (Millerand Brater 3).

In this movie, Miller depicts a very confused dream brought out through Willy Loman, the main character in the movie. Miller depicts Willy Loman as a character who is not in a position to differentiate the issues of being ‘well linked’ and material wealth (Millerand Brater 3). Miller asserts, “be liked and you will never want” (Millerand Brater 6). By this statement, Miller appears to imply that in order to become successful professionally and financially, one needs to be popular.

This is a direct opposite of what Jay Gatsby believed in since according to Gatsby, one need to acquire the wealth first in order to become successful and popular (Fitzgerald 4). Willy plunges into the past where there was a close link between emotions and commerce. Doing so is one way by which Miller demonstrates the American Dream, a dream that cannot be altered with time. This dream is carried by the American citizen’s determined not to allow the society to destroy it (Millerand Brater 6).

This is clearly shown when Happy’s swearing to continue with the dream being pursued by Willy after his demise. As such, it is apparent that both Miller and Fitzgerald present the American dream as all-consuming. For instance, one can conclude that the left over of lemons and oranges after Gatsby’s party depicts how Fitzgerald felt about the way the 1920s society treated its dreamers. In this case, Gatsby appears to have viewed the gests present at the party as ‘pulpless halves’ that eat all that is provided without thinking of whoever gave it to them(Fitzgerald 25).

Miller, on the other hand, show the concept of American dream as all-con summing when he asserted, “You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away- a man is not a piece of fruit! ” (Millerand Brater 13). By this statement, Miller believes that he has been used by his sales company.

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preview essay on Compare and contrast the treatment of the American dream in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Literature
  • Level: College
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