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The American Dream. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby , Midnight cowboy (1969), And black nationalism. What is the American Dream?. Happiness Personal Social and geographic mobility (American) As portrayed in literature, cinema, and music, the American Dream is

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The american dream

The American Dream

Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Midnight cowboy (1969),

And black nationalism

What is the american dream
What is the American Dream?



Social and geographic mobility (American)

As portrayed in literature, cinema,

and music, the American Dream is

deeply personal, can be difficult to

attain and reflects the inequality in


Significance in the order of artworks
Significance in the order of artworks

The 3 artworks examine the American Dream from different perspectives of American Society.

The Great Gatsby – white male

Midnight Cowboy – poor immigrant

Malcolm X and Public Enemy – oppressed minority

The great gatsby
The Great Gatsby

Personal component: reinvents himself because of his love for Daisy, unique dream.

American component: to be with Daisy, Gatsby yearns to reinvent himself and move socially.

Keep in mind: Gatsby achieves the American component, and is a white male.

The great gatsby1
The Great Gatsby

“I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn’t believe it would come and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream” (172).

Wealth didn’t do it for Gatsby. He rose up, and by many people’s definitions of the American dream, he was living it. At the same time, his American Dream was personal, and he did not fulfill it.

Midnight cowboy 1969
Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Miami Dreaming

Background: Ratso Rizzo (NYC) and Joe Buck (Texas)

Joe’s Dream

Ratso’s Dream

Commonality: Quest for happiness

Difficulty (see clip)

Midnight cowboy 19691
Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Benefits of the dream: provides hope, a reason to continue, and a goal.

Downfall of the dream: it doesn’t happen overnight, or necessarily at all, difficulty in achieving it is depressing.

Black nationalism
Black Nationalism

“I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American Dream—I see an American nightmare” –Malcolm X

Public enemy1
Public Enemy

Party For Your To Fight

“For the original Black Asiatic man, cream of the Earth, and was here first, and some devils prevent this from being known, but you check out the books they own, even masons they know it but refuse to show it, yo. But it’s proven and fact, and it takes a nation of millions to hold us back.”

Public enemy2
Public Enemy

Blacks and other minorities are deprived of an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.

Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) responds to that and attacks the oppressiveness of the white man.

Works cited
Works Cited

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