Similarities Between Citizen Kane And The Great Gatsby

1542 Words7 Pages
The American Dream that is present in our lives today is fundamentally the same dream that people had in the 1920s, but many would argue that these dreams differ greatly. While both of these dreams have the similar ideals of becoming successful, the metric that they use to measure success differs greatly between the two. The idea of success that we have now is for one to be better off than one’s parents were, in each case slowly climbing up the financial ladder, while in the 1920s the idea of success included unimaginable wealth and fame. We can see how these definitions of success have been defined by the generations that these dreams belonged to.
In the 1920s, it was possible for anyone to accumulate wealth, regardless of their social status.
…show more content…
In these films, we see the main character go from middle-class mediocrity to unbelievable wealth. In Citizen Kane, we see Charles Kane’s family give him, at a very young age, to a business tycoon so he could grow up educated. They believed that this would benefit him by giving him a better life than they could have provided. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby grows up in the middle class, and accumulates his fortune through bootlegging. Both of these stories are rags to riches, where they get wealthy through minimal dedication. This is a major theme in both works, which reinforces the notion that the dream in the 1920s was more focused around the idea of becoming exorbitantly wealthy rather than working hard to be better off financially than your parents. The vast wealth desired in this generation was something that made people work harder, because everybody thought they could become wealthy. This motivation kept the American Dream alive, along with any people achieving this dream, and helped people to believe that they were meant for success. These people knew that hard work may allow them to be the best they could be, and even amass great wealth during the process, and if they didn’t become very successful that it was very possible that their children could. The optimism present in the lives of those in the 1920s fueled the American Dream and…show more content…
Our modern day American Dream and the American Dream of the 1920s share many aspects. One of the themes that they share is the dedication and motivation needed to achieve the American Dream. They both set a standard where one needs to be incredibly hardworking to achieve the American Dream. Success, another facet that the dreams share in common, is due to the presence of perseverance and dedication that accompanies the idea of the hardworking American. These similarities are some of the most key aspects of the American Dream, but there are still many differences between the American Dream now and in the 1920s. The main difference between the American Dream now and in the 1920s is the definition of success. In the 1920s, everyone hoped to make the most money, and amass wealth in the easiest way possible. This has changed since as success is now defined as simply be more financially free than your parents. Another difference between the two dreams is the motivation that people experience due to the existence of the American Dream. In the 1920s, the belief in the American Dream remained strong, so people were motivated by the belief that they had the chance to become wealthy and achieve this dream. While this motivation still exists, it is present on a much smaller scale, as the belief in the American Dream

More about Similarities Between Citizen Kane And The Great Gatsby

Open Document