What is the American Dream?
There has always been a dream in the hearts of man that the American Dream is the one goal in life that all must pursue in order to achieve something in their lives. Although the American dream has always been present, the one time that the American dream had its time of reward to the American people was after the Great War, during the 1920’s. Known as the Jazz Age, this time period was a social, psychological, and material flourishing of the American people that has been classified as a time of immense opportunity. The Jazz Age was important to the American dream because it shows the different aspects of the exact rewards and consequences of following it. During this time of cultural prosperity, many novels had portrayed American society as a lost Eden, the land that has lost its identity from the degradation of human values. The myriad of works being published during that time period depicts the downfall of the American hero. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, a man, Jay Gatsby, attempts to pursue the dream for of a perfect life, but his goals eventually backfire upon himself. In the work, A Raisin in the Sun, a world of seemingly endless opportunity is seen from the perspective of an African American family. In Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, a disillusioned man tries to escape the odds against him in war by running away but still loses everything. Although the American dream defines America as a “New Eden” of ever-expanding opportunity, the seemingly self-reliant individual will become disillusioned to the fallacies of America and come to the truth that its dream is neither true nor attainable despite the efforts of the individual.