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Consider the meaning of the American Dream. Comment of Fitzgerald's ironic comment on the American Dream in Tender is the Night

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Consider the meaning of the American Dream. Comment of Fitzgerald's ironic comment on the American Dream. "The American Dream" is a phrase signifying the ideal of a nation. It is constructed around notions of hard work, determination, aspiration, equality, independence and freedom. It advocates an ethos whereby any man could make it if they worked hard enough. Fitzgerald, in 'Tender is the Night' explores the degraded aspects of the American dream though characters in the novel. For example the Divers, who seem to be successful in achieving the American dream at such a young age, however the deeper their characters and lives are explored, we see the darker elements concealed beneath the illusion of the American dream. The Divers' give the exterior impression that they have a perfect marriage, however it is evident that their marriage was based on the wrong reasons. Nicole's mental status allowed her to b fully dependent on Dick, not only as a doctor but as a husband as well. She believed he was 'someone she could rely on- indefinitely.' ...read more.


Again, this could be due to the fact that he already has the wealth, and the strain on his marriage has stripped him of the confidence he had to achieve his dream of being 'the best'. One of the main aspects if the American dream is working hard to achieve it, which Dick has failed to do. Instead he chose the easier way to gain fame and prosperity. However, this raises questions as to whether achieving the American dream really does bring happiness, or dos it simply lad to being dissatisfied with life. In chapter 12 of book 1, Nicole is portrayed as someone who holds no value for money. "Nicole was the product of much ingenuity and toil" Nicole's consumerism can be seen as a by-product of the American Dream as she inherited her wealth therefore never had to work hard to earn it. This shows that those who are born into wealth like Nicole get the benefits of the success of the American Dream without having to put in the hard wok themselves. ...read more.


The same could be said about Abe North. Both him and Dick are portrayed as talented men whose dreams are not fulfilled. 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness', stated in the Declaration of Independence, is what the American Dream is based on. However I think the image of the image and definition of the American Dream has been distorted, and it no longer represents a life of hard work and opportunity, but it is more about material possessions and social status. The Jazz Age during the 20's also plays an important role in the misconstrued perceptions of the American Dream, as that era was full of extravagance and waste. Dick is representative of that era as his failure and ultimate reliance on alcohol leads to him being unable to achieve happiness. Fitzgerald portrays the downfall of his life as a consequence of his decisions, mainly marrying Nicole as a way to gain wealth. I think what message Fitzgerald is tying to portray is that even though people may seem as though they have achieved the American Dream through materialistic possessions, thy are the furthest away from being truly happy; they are the ones that are dissatisfied with their life. ...read more.

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