⚡ Essay On The 1920s Economic Boom

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Essay On The 1920s Economic Boom



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Paper 1 America 1920-73 MMU: Causes of the economic boom 1920s America

Some researchers believe that the difference in scores is closely related to the overall achievement gap in American society between students of different racial groups. This gap may be explainable in part by the fact that students of disadvantaged racial groups tend to go to schools that provide lower educational quality. This view is supported by evidence that the black-white gap is higher in cities and neighborhoods that are more racially segregated. John Ogbu , a Nigerian-American professor of anthropology, concluded that instead of looking to their parents as role models, black youth chose other models like rappers and did not make an effort to be good students. One set of studies has reported differential item functioning, namely, that some test questions function differently based on the racial group of the test taker, reflecting differences in ability to understand certain test questions or to acquire the knowledge required to answer them between groups.

In , Freedle published data showing that black students have had a slight advantage on the verbal questions that are labeled as difficult on the SAT, whereas white and Asian students tended to have a slight advantage on questions labeled as easy. Freedle argued that these findings suggest that "easy" test items use vocabulary that is easier to understand for white middle class students than for minorities, who often use a different language in the home environment, whereas the difficult items use complex language learned only through lectures and textbooks, giving both student groups equal opportunities to acquiring it.

There is no evidence that SAT scores systematically underestimate future performance of minority students. However, the predictive validity of the SAT has been shown to depend on the dominant ethnic and racial composition of the college. Christopher Jencks concludes that as a group, African Americans have been harmed by the introduction of standardized entrance exams such as the SAT. This, according to him, is not because the tests themselves are flawed, but because of labeling bias and selection bias; the tests measure the skills that African Americans are less likely to develop in their socialization, rather than the skills they are more likely to develop.

Furthermore, standardized entrance exams are often labeled as tests of general ability, rather than of certain aspects of ability. Thus, a situation is produced in which African-American ability is consistently underestimated within the education and workplace environments, contributing in turn to selection bias against them which exacerbates underachievement. Among the major racial or ethnic groups of the United States, gaps in SAT mathematics scores are the greatest at the tails, with Hispanic and Latino Americans being the most likely to score at the lowest range and Asian Americans the highest.

In addition, there is some evidence suggesting that if the test contains more questions of both the easy and difficult varieties, which would increase the variability of the scores, the gaps would be even wider. Given the distribution for Asians, for example, many could score higher than if the test allowed them to. Yet the gaps persisted. By analyzing data from the National Center for Education Statistics, economists Ember Smith and Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution deduced that the number of students taking the SAT increased at a rate faster than population and high-school graduation growth rates between and The increase was especially pronounced among Hispanics and Latinos.

Even among whites, whose number of high-school graduates was shrinking, the number of SAT takers rose. Psychologists Jean Twenge , W. Keith Campbell, and Ryne A. Sherman analyzed vocabulary test scores on the U. However, they cautioned against the use of SAT verbal scores to track the decline for while the College Board reported that SAT verbal scores had been decreasing, these scores were an imperfect measure of the vocabulary level of the nation as a whole because the test-taking demographic has changed and because more students took the SAT in the s than in the s, meaning there were more with limited ability who took it. For instance, Intertel accepts scores verbal and math combined of at least on tests taken through January ; [] the Triple Nine Society accepts scores of or greater on SAT tests taken before April , and scores of at least on tests taken between April and February Because it is strongly correlated with general intelligence, the SAT has often been used as a proxy to measure intelligence by researchers, especially since A growing body of research indicates that SAT scores can predict individual success decades into the future, for example in terms of income and occupational achievements.

Duke TIP participants generally picked career tracks in STEM should they be stronger in mathematics, as indicated by SAT mathematics scores, or the humanities if they possessed greater verbal ability, as indicated by SAT verbal scores. For comparison, the bottom SMPY quartile is five times more likely than the average American to have a patent. In the paper which showed that the sex gap in SAT mathematics scores had dropped dramatically between the early s and the early s but had persisted for the next two decades or so, Wai and his colleagues argued that "sex differences in abilities in the extreme right tail should not be dismissed as no longer part of the explanation for the dearth of women in math-intensive fields of science.

Cognitive ability is correlated with job training outcomes and job performance. In some cases, a company might need to hire someone to handle proprietary materials of its own making, such as computer software. But since the ability to work with such materials cannot be assessed via external certification, it makes sense for such a firm to rely on something that is a proxy of measuring general intelligence. Nevertheless, some top employers, such as Google , have eschewed the use of SAT or other standardized test scores unless the potential employee is a recent graduate because for their purposes, these scores "don't predict anything.

Every single person they get through the door is a super-high scorer. In the s and s there was a movement to drop achievement scores. After a period of time, the countries, states and provinces that reintroduced them agreed that academic standards had dropped, students had studied less, and had taken their studying less seriously. They reintroduced the tests after studies and research concluded that the high-stakes tests produced benefits that outweighed the costs. However, the governing board overruled the senate. Because of the size of the Californian population, this decision might have an impact on U.

During the s, over 1, American universities and colleges opted to stop requiring the SAT and the ACT for admissions, according to FairTest , an activist group opposing standardized entrance exams. Most, however, were small colleges, with the notable exceptions of the University of California system and the University of Chicago. Furthermore, since the costs of attending institutions of higher learning in the United States are high, eliminating the SAT requirement could make said institutions more likely to admit under-performing students, who might have to be removed for their low academic standing and who might be saddled with debt after attending. Many parents and college-bound teenagers are skeptical of the process of " holistic admissions" because they think is rather vague and uncertain, as schools try to access characteristics not easily discerned via a number, hence the growth in the number of test takers attempting to make themselves more competitive even if this parallels an increase in the number of schools declaring it optional.

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, around 1, institutions decided to waive the requirement of the SAT or the ACT for admissions because it was challenging both to administer and to take these tests, resulting in many cancellations. Others dropped the requirement completely. Those who did submit their test scores tended to hail from high-income families, to have at least one university-educated parent, and to be white or Asian.

After studying over 50 graded essays, he found that longer essays consistently produced higher scores. He also discovered that several of these essays were full of factual errors; the College Board does not claim to grade for factual accuracy. Perelman, along with the National Council of Teachers of English, also criticized the minute writing section of the test for damaging standards of writing teaching in the classroom. They say that writing teachers training their students for the SAT will not focus on revision, depth, accuracy, but will instead produce long, formulaic, and wordy pieces. On January 19, , the College Board announced that the SAT would no longer offer the optional essay section after the June administration.

In the late nineteenth century, elite colleges and universities had their own entrance exams and they required candidates to travel to the school to take the tests. In the same time period, Lewis Terman and others began to promote the use of tests such as Alfred Binet 's in American schools. Terman in particular thought that such tests could identify an innate " intelligence quotient " IQ in a person.

The results of an IQ test could then be used to find an elite group of students who would be given the chance to finish high school and go on to college. The commission, headed by eugenicist Carl Brigham , argued that the test predicted success in higher education by identifying candidates primarily on the basis of intellectual promise rather than on specific accomplishment in high school subjects. He advanced this theory of standardized testing as a means of upholding racial purity in his book A Study of American Intelligence. The tests, he wrote, would prove the racial superiority of white Americans and prevent 'the continued propagation of defective strains in the present population'—chiefly, the 'infiltration of white blood into the Negro.

Specifically, Conant wanted to find students, other than those from the traditional northeastern private schools, that could do well at Harvard. The success of the scholarship program and the advent of World War II led to the end of the College Board essay exams and to the SAT being used as the only admissions test for College Board member colleges. Machine-based scoring of multiple-choice tests taken by pencil had made it possible to rapidly process the exams. Bill produced an influx of millions of veterans into higher education. Brigham felt that the interests of a consolidated testing agency would be more aligned with sales or marketing than with research into the science of testing. During the s, there was concern over the continued decline of SAT scores, [17] [16] which might be due to the expansion of the test-taking population.

On June 17, , the first exams of the College Board were administered to students across 67 locations in the United States, and two in Europe. Although those taking the test came from a variety of backgrounds, approximately one third were from New York , New Jersey , or Pennsylvania. The majority of those taking the test were from private schools, academies, or endowed schools. The test contained sections on English , French , German , Latin , Greek , history , geography , political science , biology , mathematics , chemistry , and physics.

The test was not multiple choice, but instead was evaluated based on essay responses as "excellent", "good", "doubtful", "poor" or "very poor". It was administered to over 8, students at over test centers. Slightly over a quarter of males and females applied to Yale University and Smith College. This scale was effectively equivalent to a to scale, although students could score more than and less than In , the number of sections on the SAT was reduced to seven, and the time limit was increased to slightly under two hours. In , the number of sections was again reduced, this time to six. These changes were designed in part to give test-takers more time per question.

For these two years, all of the sections tested verbal ability: math was eliminated entirely from the SAT. In the SAT was first split into the verbal and math sections, a structure that would continue through The verbal section of the test covered a more narrow range of content than its predecessors, examining only antonyms, double definitions somewhat similar to sentence completions , and paragraph reading.

In , analogies were re-added. Between and , students had between 80 and minutes to answer verbal questions over a third of which were on antonyms. The mathematics test introduced in contained free response questions to be answered in 80 minutes and focused primarily on speed. From to , like the and tests, the mathematics section was eliminated entirely. When the mathematics portion of the test was re-added in , it consisted of multiple-choice questions. Until , the scores on all SATs had been scaled to a mean of with a standard deviation of Although one test-taker could be compared to another for a given test date, comparisons from one year to another could not be made.

For example, a score of achieved on an SAT taken in one year could reflect a different ability level than a score of achieved in another year. By , it had become clear that setting the mean SAT score to every year was unfair to those students who happened to take the SAT with a group of higher average ability. In order to make cross-year score comparisons possible, in April the SAT verbal section was scaled to a mean of , and a standard deviation of , and the June SAT verbal section was equated linked to the April test.

All SAT verbal sections after were equated to previous tests so that the same scores on different SATs would be comparable. Similarly, in June the SAT math section was equated to the April math section, which itself was linked to the SAT verbal section, and all SAT math sections after would be equated to previous tests. From this point forward, SAT mean scores could change over time, depending on the average ability of the group taking the test compared to the roughly 10, students taking the SAT in April The and score scales would remain in use until Paragraph reading was eliminated from the verbal portion of the SAT in , and replaced with reading comprehension, and "double definition" questions were replaced with sentence completions.

Between and , students were given 90 to minutes to complete to verbal questions. Starting in , time limits became more stable, and for 17 years, until , students had 75 minutes to answer 90 questions. In , questions on data sufficiency were introduced to the mathematics section and then replaced with quantitative comparisons in In , both verbal and math sections were reduced from 75 minutes to 60 minutes each, with changes in test composition compensating for the decreased time. From to , scores on the SAT were scaled to make the mean score on each section. In and , SAT scores were standardized via test equating , and as a consequence, average verbal and math scores could vary from that time forward.

However, starting in the mids and continuing until the early s, SAT scores declined: the average verbal score dropped by about 50 points, and the average math score fell by about 30 points. By the late s, only the upper third of test takers were doing as well as the upper half of those taking the SAT in From to , the number of SATs taken per year doubled, suggesting that the decline could be explained by demographic changes in the group of students taking the SAT. In early , substantial changes were made to the SAT. The changes for increased emphasis on analytical reading were made in response to a report issued by a commission established by the College Board.

The commission recommended that the SAT should, among other things, "approximate more closely the skills used in college and high school work". Major changes were also made to the SAT mathematics section at this time, due in part to the influence of suggestions made by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Test-takers were now permitted to use calculators on the math sections of the SAT.

Also, for the first time since , the SAT would now include some math questions that were not multiple choice, and would require students to supply the answers for those questions. Additionally, some of these "student-produced response" questions could have more than one correct answer. The tested mathematics content on the SAT was expanded to include concepts of slope of a line , probability , elementary statistics including median and mode , and problems involving counting.

By the early s, average combined SAT scores were around typically, on the verbal and on the math. The average scores on the modification of the SAT I were similar: on the verbal and on the math. The drop in SAT verbal scores, in particular, meant that the usefulness of the SAT score scale to had become degraded. At the top end of the verbal scale, significant gaps were occurring between raw scores and uncorrected scaled scores: a perfect raw score no longer corresponded to an , and a single omission out of 85 questions could lead to a drop of 30 or 40 points in the scaled score.

Corrections to scores above had been necessary to reduce the size of the gaps and to make a perfect raw score result in an At the other end of the scale, about 1. Although the math score averages were closer to the center of the scale than the verbal scores, the distribution of math scores was no longer well approximated by a normal distribution. These problems, among others, suggested that the original score scale and its reference group of about 10, students taking the SAT in needed to be replaced.

Beginning with the test administered in April , the SAT score scale was recentered to return the average math and verbal scores close to Although only 25 students had received perfect scores of in all of , students taking the April test scored Because the new scale would not be directly comparable to the old scale, scores awarded in April and later were officially reported with an "R" for example, "R" to reflect the change in scale, a practice that was continued until For example, verbal and math scores of received before correspond to scores of and , respectively, on the scale. Certain educational organizations viewed the SAT re-centering initiative as an attempt to stave off international embarrassment in regards to continuously declining test scores, even among top students.

Since , using a policy referred to as "Score Choice", students taking the SAT-II subject exams were able to choose whether or not to report the resulting scores to a college to which the student was applying. It was also suggested that the old policy of allowing students the option of which scores to report favored students who could afford to retake the tests. In , the test was changed again, largely in response to criticism by the University of California system. The writing section reported a multiple-choice subscore that ranged from 20 to 80 points.

The essay section added an additional maximum points to the score, which increased the new maximum score to The mathematics section was expanded to cover three years of high school mathematics. To emphasize the importance of reading, the verbal section's name was changed to the Critical Reading section. In March , it was announced that a small percentage of the SATs taken in October had been scored incorrectly due to the test papers being moist and not scanning properly and that some students had received erroneous scores.

The College Board decided not to change the scores for the students who were given a higher score than they earned. A lawsuit was filed in on behalf of the 4, students who received an incorrect score on the SAT. At the time, some college admissions officials agreed that the new policy would help to alleviate student test anxiety, while others questioned whether the change was primarily an attempt to make the SAT more competitive with the ACT, which had long had a comparable score choice policy.

Others, such as MIT and Harvard , allow students to choose which scores they submit, and use only the highest score from each section when making admission decisions. Still others, such as Oregon State University and University of Iowa , allow students to choose which scores they submit, considering only the test date with the highest combined score when making admission decisions. Beginning in the fall of , test takers were required to submit a current, recognizable photo during registration. In order to be admitted to their designated test center, students were required to present their photo admission ticket—or another acceptable form of photo ID—for comparison to the one submitted by the student at the time of registration.

The changes were made in response to a series of cheating incidents, primarily at high schools in Long Island, New York, in which high-scoring test takers were using fake photo IDs to take the SAT for other students. In the event of an investigation involving the validity of a student's test scores, their photo may be made available to institutions to which they have sent scores. Any college that is granted access to a student's photo is first required to certify that the student has been admitted to the college requesting the photo.

On March 5, , the College Board announced its plan to redesign the SAT in order to link the exam more closely to the work high school students encounter in the classroom. The essay score was separated from the final score, and institutions could choose whether or not to consider it. As a result of these changes, the highest score was returned to These modifications were the first major redesign to the structure of the test since However, this does not necessarily mean students came better prepared.

To combat the perceived advantage of costly test preparation courses, the College Board announced a new partnership with Khan Academy to offer free online practice problems and instructional videos. In May , the College Board announced that it would calculate each SAT taker's "Adversity Score" using factors such as the proportion of students in a school district receiving free or subsidized lunch or the level of crime in that neighborhood. The higher the score, the more adversity the student faced. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, which made administering and taking the tests difficult, on January 19, , the College Board announced plans to discontinue the optional SAT essay following the June administration.

The SAT has been renamed several times since its introduction in It was originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. According to the president of the College Board at the time, the name change was meant "to correct the impression among some people that the SAT measures something that is innate and impervious to change regardless of effort or instruction. Test preparation companies in Asia have been found to provide test questions to students within hours of a new SAT exam's administration. The leaked PDF file was on the internet before the August 25, exam. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from SAT Essay. Standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. This article is about the college admission test in the United States of America.

For other uses, see SAT disambiguation. Main article: Math—verbal achievement gap. Education portal Psychology portal United States portal. This comes from the fact that the higher the rank, the smaller the number of that rank. But Not Your Face Mask". The New York Times. ISSN Retrieved College Board. The College Board. Archived from the original on October 10, Retrieved October 13, Archived from the original on July 15, Retrieved June 6, Archived from the original on 19 July Retrieved 20 July Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. This broke the once tight link between academic coursework and college admission, a break that remains to this day.

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ISBN May 18, Hand over your SAT results". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on August 26, Retrieved August 26, PBS Newshour. President Woodrow Wilson in his famous Fourteen Points. Five long months later, on June 28—exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo—the leaders of the Allied and associated powers, as well as representatives from Germany, gathered in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles to sign the final treaty. By placing the burden of war guilt entirely on Germany, imposing harsh reparations payments and creating an increasingly unstable collection of smaller nations in Europe, the treaty would ultimately fail to resolve the underlying issues that caused war to break out in , and help pave the way for another massive global conflict 20 years later.

The Paris Peace Conference: None of the defeated nations weighed in, and even the smaller Allied powers had little say. Formal peace negotiations opened in Paris on January 18, , the anniversary of the coronation of German Emperor Wilhelm I at the end of the Franco-Prussian War in World War I had brought up painful memories of that conflict—which ended in German unification and its seizure of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from France—and now France intended to make Germany pay. None of the defeated nations were invited to weigh in, and even the smaller Allied powers had little say.

The treaty was lengthy, and ultimately did not satisfy any nation. In addition, it had to drastically reduce its armed forces and accept the demilitarization and Allied occupation of the region around the Rhine River. Most importantly, Article of the treaty placed all blame for inciting the war squarely on Germany, and forced it to pay several billion in reparations to the Allied nations. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of balancing many competing priorities, the treaty ended up as a lengthy and confusing document that satisfied no one.

But his fellow Allied leaders rejected much of his plan as naive and too idealistic. To find a quotation we cite via chapter and paragraph in your book, you can either eyeball it Paragraph beginning of chapter; middle of chapter; on: end of chapter , or use the search function if you're using an online or eReader version of the text. The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of race, class, gender, or nationality, can be successful in America read: rich if they just work hard enough. The American Dream thus presents a pretty rosy view of American society that ignores problems like systemic racism and misogyny, xenophobia, tax evasion or state tax avoidance, and income inequality.

It also presumes a myth of class equality, when the reality is America has a pretty well-developed class hierarchy. The s in particular was a pretty tumultuous time due to increased immigration and the accompanying xenophobia , changing women's roles spurred by the right to vote, which was won in , and extraordinary income inequality. The country was also in the midst of an economic boom, which fueled the belief that anyone could "strike it rich" on Wall Street. However, this rapid economic growth was built on a bubble which popped in The Great Gatsby was published in , well before the crash, but through its wry descriptions of the ultra-wealthy, it seems to somehow predict that the fantastic wealth on display in s New York was just as ephemeral as one of Gatsby's parties.

In any case, the novel, just by being set in the s, is unlikely to present an optimistic view of the American Dream, or at least a version of the dream that's inclusive to all genders, ethnicities, and incomes. With that background in mind, let's jump into the plot! Chapter 1 places us in a particular year——and gives us some background about WWI. This is relevant, since the s is presented as a time of hollow decadence among the wealthy, as evidenced especially by the parties in Chapters 2 and 3.

And as we mentioned above, the s were a particularly tense time in America. We also meet George and Myrtle Wilson in Chapter 2 , both working class people who are working to improve their lot in life, George through his work, and Myrtle through her affair with Tom Buchanan. We learn about Gatsby's goal in Chapter 4 : to win Daisy back. Despite everything he owns, including fantastic amounts of money and an over-the-top mansion, for Gatsby, Daisy is the ultimate status symbol. So in Chapter 5 , when Daisy and Gatsby reunite and begin an affair, it seems like Gatsby could, in fact, achieve his goal. In Chapter 6 , we learn about Gatsby's less-than-wealthy past, which not only makes him look like the star of a rags-to-riches story, it makes Gatsby himself seem like someone in pursuit of the American Dream, and for him the personification of that dream is Daisy.

However, in Chapters 7 and 8 , everything comes crashing down: Daisy refuses to leave Tom, Myrtle is killed, and George breaks down and kills Gatsby and then himself, leaving all of the "strivers" dead and the old money crowd safe. Furthermore, we learn in those last chapters that Gatsby didn't even achieve all his wealth through hard work, like the American Dream would stipulate—instead, he earned his money through crime. He did work hard and honestly under Dan Cody, but lost Dan Cody's inheritance to his ex-wife.

In short, things do not turn out well for our dreamers in the novel! Thus, the novel ends with Nick's sad meditation on the lost promise of the American Dream. You can read a detailed analysis of these last lines in our summary of the novel's ending. This novel is just one very large burst bubble. In this section we analyze some of the most important quotes that relate to the American Dream in the book.

But I didn't call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone--he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward--and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. In our first glimpse of Jay Gatsby, we see him reaching towards something far off, something in sight but definitely out of reach.

This famous image of the green light is often understood as part of The Great Gatsby 's meditation on The American Dream—the idea that people are always reaching towards something greater than themselves that is just out of reach. You can read more about this in our post all about the green light. The fact that this yearning image is our introduction to Gatsby foreshadows his unhappy end and also marks him as a dreamer, rather than people like Tom or Daisy who were born with money and don't need to strive for anything so far off. Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money.

The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world. A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday. As we crossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes, two bucks and a girl.

I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry. Early in the novel, we get this mostly optimistic illustration of the American Dream—we see people of different races and nationalities racing towards NYC, a city of unfathomable possibility. This moment has all the classic elements of the American Dream—economic possibility, racial and religious diversity, a carefree attitude.

At this moment, it does feel like "anything can happen," even a happy ending. However, this rosy view eventually gets undermined by the tragic events later in the novel. And even at this point, Nick's condescension towards the people in the other cars reinforces America's racial hierarchy that disrupts the idea of the American Dream. There is even a little competition at play, a "haughty rivalry" at play between Gatsby's car and the one bearing the "modish Negroes.

Nick "laughs aloud" at this moment, suggesting he thinks it's amusing that the passengers in this other car see them as equals, or even rivals to be bested. In other words, he seems to firmly believe in the racial hierarchy Tom defends in Chapter 1, even if it doesn't admit it honestly. His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy's white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.

So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete. This moment explicitly ties Daisy to all of Gatsby's larger dreams for a better life —to his American Dream. This sets the stage for the novel's tragic ending, since Daisy cannot hold up under the weight of the dream Gatsby projects onto her. Instead, she stays with Tom Buchanan, despite her feelings for Gatsby.

Thus when Gatsby fails to win over Daisy, he also fails to achieve his version of the American Dream. This is why so many people read the novel as a somber or pessimistic take on the American Dream, rather than an optimistic one. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. The closing pages of the novel reflect at length on the American Dream, in an attitude that seems simultaneously mournful, appreciative, and pessimistic.

It also ties back to our first glimpse of Gatsby, reaching out over the water towards the Buchanan's green light. Nick notes that Gatsby's dream was "already behind him" then or in other words, it was impossible to attain. But still, he finds something to admire in how Gatsby still hoped for a better life, and constantly reached out toward that brighter future. For a full consideration of these last lines and what they could mean, see our analysis of the novel's ending. One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose take in high school in conjunction with how well you do in those classes.

Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. An analysis of the characters in terms of the American Dream usually leads to a pretty cynical take on the American Dream. Most character analysis centered on the American Dream will necessarily focus on Gatsby, George, or Myrtle the true strivers in the novel , though as we'll discuss below, the Buchanans can also provide some interesting layers of discussion.

For character analysis that incorporates the American Dream, carefully consider your chosen character's motivations and desires, and how the novel does or doesn't! Gatsby himself is obviously the best candidate for writing about the American Dream—he comes from humble roots he's the son of poor farmers from North Dakota and rises to be notoriously wealthy, only for everything to slip away from him in the end. Many people also incorporate Daisy into their analyses as the physical representation of Gatsby's dream. However, definitely consider the fact that in the traditional American Dream, people achieve their goals through honest hard work, but in Gatsby's case, he very quickly acquires a large amount of money through crime.

Gatsby does attempt the hard work approach, through his years of service to Dan Cody, but that doesn't work out since Cody's ex-wife ends up with the entire inheritance. So instead he turns to crime, and only then does he manage to achieve his desired wealth. So while Gatsby's story arc resembles a traditional rags-to-riches tale, the fact that he gained his money immorally complicates the idea that he is a perfect avatar for the American Dream.

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