Similarities Between I Too Sing America And The Great Gatsby

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“The American Dream” is an idea integral to the work ethic and overall ideals of the United States; simply put: the idea is that through hard work, the opportunity for prosperity and success is possible for anybody in America. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby as a critique of the rampant materialism and declining moral values he witnessed post-World War I. The novel tells the story of a man named Nick Carraway, who gets a glimpse of the frivolous, lavish lifestyles of New York’s elite, including that of the hopelessly hopeful Jay Gatsby; Gatsby is willing to do anything to win over the heart of the woman he loves, the unattainable Daisy Buchanan. Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too, Sing America” was published in pre-Civil Rights United States (a hotbed of racism) and serves as his patriotic declaration that African-Americans will one day achieve equality in the United States and also be able to live the American Dream. The Great Gatsby …show more content…

Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the American Dream in the novel both compares and contrasts to that of Hughes’ portrayal in the poem through the usage of the literary devices of imagery, tone, and symbolism. Through the usage of imagery, The Great Gatsby paints a bleak picture of the failure of The American Dream on a disadvantaged group, while “I Too, Sing America” portrays it as something that can be improved upon. In the novel, a stretch of desolate land created as the result of industrial waste is described as “...a valley of ashes...where ashes grow like...grotesque gardens (Fitzgerald 23)”. This powerful imagery described the valley of ashes as a wasteland and a failure of the American Dream. The

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