Between the World and Me

You Might Be Asleep: An Analysis of the Effects of the American Dream on Society in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams” 11th Grade

The American Dream has always been considered the ideal that every United States citizen has an opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and success. Many people came to follow and believe in the magnificence of the American Dream, while some criticized it for what it is doing to American society. F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the authors in the earlier generations who was known for his strong criticism of the American Dream’s influence on society. His 1922 short story “Winter Dreams” is an example of Fitzgerald’s disapproval of the Dream. A more recent author Ta-Nehisi Coates shares similar ideas with Fitzgerald, and in his 2014 novel Between the World and Me he argues that the Dream is hurting American society. While Fitzgerald’s interpretation of the American Dream in “Winter Dreams” differs from Coates’s representation of the Dream in Between the World and Me, they still both criticize the American Dream for its harm to American society. Before contrasting and comparing the two exploration of the American Dream, it is important to clarify how both authors define the Dream.

In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that race is a big factor in the Dream, but in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter...

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