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 Buchanans are behaving. The roaring twenties is immortalized as a time of entertainment V 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.;(182) Popular culture thrived in this decade because of the need to escape. People wanted fun and absorbing kinds of things to take their minds off the bleak world they saw around them. Basically, this dream world for most people, is to get lost when problems are getting too big to handle. Fantasies serve a foundation for all those who do not want to face the pressures of living in a modern world.

Benjamin Franklin believed that the only way to true wealth was through hard work. He also believed very strongly, that all people were created equal and had the same opportunities available to them to achieve the American Dream. However, for our central character, Jay Gatsby, this is not quite true. Gatsby tries very hard to transform himself from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, :an Oxford man;. He wants to erase his history but in the other side, he wants to :repeat the past;. He attempts to delete his past record because he does not want to involve in poverty anymore. However, on the other hand he longs for the past because in the past, he had a love affair with Daisy. He knows that he could not marry her because they are of different social class. He leaves her and achieves his American Dream. Once he becomes rich, he moves to the opposite bay to Daisy・s house just want to be near to Daisy. He holds extravagant parties, hoping he could see her one day. He, himself, does not attend his parties but watches them from a distance. Gatsby・s American Dream is not material possession. He only comes into riches so that he can fulfil his true American Dream, Daisy. However, he fails to make his dream to come true