Comparative Analysis of American Dream in the Great Gatsby and Forrest Gump 《了不起的盖茨比》与《阿甘正传》中美国梦的比较分析毕业论文

 2021-04-02 12:04

摘 要




Since the American Dream made its debuts in American Epic written by James Adams, this term which emphasizes success can be achieved by everyone with his or her own effort, is deeply rooted in American’s mind, and it also runs through the American literature all the time. However, the connotation of American Dream always varies with time. Therefore, it is a familiar but vigorous research target for English majors. This paper compares two kinds of American Dream of two periods in American history---one starts from 1910s to 1930s, the other 1960s to 1990s, which are respectively condensed in the Great Gatsby and Forrest Gump. By discussing some aspects like personal experiences, social backgrounds and destinies of two protagonists, the paper analyses the reasons for the disillusionment of American Dream in Gatsby’s age and the appeal and return of American Dream in Gump’s. In addition, the paper makes a comprehensive inquiry into the distinctive features of each American Dream, social contexts and their influence to American people, thus leads to a better understanding of development of American Dream.

Key Words: American Dream; comparative analysis; the Great Gatsby; Forrest Gump


1 Introduction 1

2 American Dream in the Great Gatsby 2

2.1 Social context 2

2.2 Transition of Gatsby’s Dream 3

2.3 Reasons for the disillusionment 4

3 American Dream in the Forrest Gump 6

3.1 Social context 6

3.2 Transition of Gump's dream 7

3.3Reasons for success of Forrest Gump 9

4 The collapse and return of the American Dream 10

5 conclusions 13

References 14

Acknowledgement 15

The Comparative Analysis of American Dream in The Great Gatsby and Forrest Grump

1 Introduction

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, his speeches about American Dream had impressed thousands of Americans and also made him the first African-American president of the United States. The success of Barack Obama brings the American Dream back into people’s sight globally. What is American Dream? A certain definition may be hard to be found since this term has always evolved with time.

Hundreds of years ago, when European immigrants set their first step on America and looked for a “pure land” where Puritans could escape from war and religious persecution in Europe, the American Dream had begun to germinate quietly.(Cullen, 2015) When the Puritans settled New England, they saw themselves as part of "a lineage of the faithful," for whom pride was "the enemy of hope." They tried to create a society where status and privilege were not inherited but obtained by efforts.(Andrew,2014) Puritan’s thought is the beginning of the American Dream, while the publishment of the Declaration of Independence laid an ideological foundation for it. However, with the rise of Golden Rush and Westward Movement, the American Dream which originated from Puritan ideals gradually became the utilitarian thought in pursuit of material wealth and individualism.(Fu amp; Xu, 2018)

American Dream constantly proved to be a significant element in American literature. The Great Gatsby written by Fitzgerald, a representative writer of the American Dream, tells about people’s lost and disillusioned life experience of the Jazz Age, and criticizes the current situation of people’s moral vacillation after the First World War.While Forrest Gump by Winston Glum depicts the inspirational story of Forrest Gump, an unfortunate child who was born with defect, but eventually creates miracles in many fields. It has much significance to study American Dream from the two classical works since Gatsby and Gump are actually the epitome of American Dream in their ages and representative of their generation. This paper mainly discusses the difference of this two kinds of dreams through the social context, personal experiences, destinies of the two protagonists, Gatsby and Gump. Through comparative analysis of these aspects, differences and reasons are expected to be found in this paper.

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