The American Dream Demonstrated in Death of a Salesman and the Great Gatsby

Kayla Soileau
Mrs. Daigrepont
English III-2
28 April 2015
The American Nightmare
  Good Morning, Good Morning by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, when analyzed, presents an abstract and arcane concept of alienation. This song was written during a time when the Beatles had finally agreed to not tour the world but to focus on living life. John Lennon discovered that without the demanding schedule and the constant contact with his raging fans, he had “nothing.” In the song, Lennon speaks of a man who has “nothing to do [and] . . . nothing to do.”   This lack of self worth in his everyday life translates into a lack of purpose in the community. The man in the song is experiencing alienation. Alienation is the state or experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved. The man in the song feels estranged from society. Evidence of this detachment is exhibited when he narrates that he “do[esn’t] want to go” to work and that when he heads home he “start[s] to roam” This feeling of aimlessness and purposelessness corresponds to Lennon’s feelings of uselessness. Without being able to provide for the community, Lennon feels detached and isolated. This detachment is an example of alienation from self. By not contributing his talent to the world, Lennon’s purpose in the community is virtually nonexistent. Self worth is based on what one brings to the community, so when one’s connection to the community is severed, that person is deemed alienated. Characters experience alienation as a result of natural consequences of a predicament that the characters have created for themselves.   An exemplification of a predicament caused by the character themselves is attempting to achieve the “American Dream,” a life of success, wealth, and fulfillment. The characters Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman exhibit the literary use of alienation by their failed attempts at the American Dream...