12 December 2008
Selflessness Died With Jesus: Narcissism of The American Dream,
Portrayed Through The Great Gatsby and A Raisin in the Sun
A father has this goal: to make money, to be successful, to succeed. But while he works so hard to achieve this goal, he shuns his friends, family, and loved ones. He ignores them, and forgets to build a relationship with even his own son. As sad as this is, it’s happening, right now, all across the country. This situation is common; people focus only on their dream to succeed, and leave everything else behind. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, both contain wonderful examples of this “American Dream.” The idea of the American Dream is selfish, and that needs to be realized.
People will sacrifice anything, and everything, to achieve their dream. There have been countless stories pertaining to that very statement. In The Great Gatsby, Nick sees the Buchanans as “careless people,” noting how “they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made” (Fitzgerald 170). Tom and Daisy were acting only to please themselves, to do what is in their own best interest. They wanted their perfect life, and they did not care who got hurt along the way. They gave up friends and loved ones to have their dream.
Humans lose all morals, all values, and all decency when it comes to selfishness. They do not care about the feelings of others, or what another person thinks. In A Raisin in the Sun, Mama is telling Walter that Ruth might get an abortion, and that “when the world gets ugly enough a woman will do anything” (Hansberry 75). Ruth didn’t even ask her husband’s, the father’s, opinion. She just did what she wanted to happen, whether someone else cared or not. When it comes down to it, people are more...