Self Made Man Analysis

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A self-made man is someone who comes from a low status family and against all odds, climbs up the social ladder and creates a new identity for themselves gaining wealth along the way. With that being said, the whole ideology behind the self-made man emphasizes the values of hard-work, self-discipline, self-motivation, seizing opportunities, self-improvement, and education. Correspondingly, the American Dream highlights those exact same values as well. Therefore, the self-made man is not a myth since it is the embodiment of the American Dream due to the indistinguishable values they both share in hopes to prosper in the future. The self-made man is proven by its personification of the American Dream through an individual’s ability to rise…show more content…
He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind?...’” (The Great Gatsby, 181-182). In this passage, Nick acquires new information about Gatsby after talking with Mr. Gatz. Nick realizes how hard Gatsby worked to change his old self and shape it into another form in which Daisy would approve of. In addition, Fitzgerald’s repetition of the phrase “it just shows you” suggests the determination found within Gatsby in order to better himself. His diligent scheduling also suggests that Gatsby believed in the American Dream; he believed that one can work their way up through hard-work, self-control, and resolve. Identically, his list reveals the key values of a self-made man: he worked hard to reinvent himself, educated himself on important topics and materials, and demonstrated self-discipline through his daily routine. Likewise, former United States Senator Hiram Leong Fong, portrayed the ideals of a self-made man in America through his desire to attend college and law school. However, Fong’s dreams were delayed due to his lack of funds. In order to ensure his pathway to college, Fong worked for 3 years to earn enough money to pay for his tuition. After graduating from college, Fong worked full time for another 2 years to pay for his tuition at Harvard Law School (Hiram Leong Fong). Fong is demonstrating the willingness to work hard if one…show more content…
For example F. Scott Fitzgerald writes in The Great Gatsby, “‘She never loved you, do you hear?’ he cried. ‘She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart, she never loved anyone except me!’” (Gatsby, 137). In this passage, Gatsby and Tom are having a heated argument over who Daisy truly loves. Gatsby reveals that before he met Daisy, he was from the lower class. He realized that he didn’t have any money to provide for Daisy if they got married, which served him as motivation to gain affluence. Additionally, this scene is ironic in the sense that when Gatsby was first with Daisy he was poor. Yet, in this moment he is in the Plaza Hotel hanging out with some of the upper class men. Here, Gatsby proves that the self-made man is true because he was able to improve his lifestyle through hard-work compared to where he was before. Similarly Elizabeth Arden, a successful businesswoman in the 1900s, demonstrated self-improvement in her life since she had seen her mother endure a hard and poor life. Influenced by her tough past, she expressed a desire to be the richest woman in the world. Arden also never accepted the idea that her gender should limit her ability to run her own business (Elizabeth Arden). Arden decided to reinvent herself when she saw
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