Transformation of a text in a different context reveal new insights to a responder. Dicuss this statement with cose reference to The Great Gatsby and American Beauty.

Essay by pli2003High School, 11th grade March 2005

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The two texts The Great Gatsby and American Beauty although are presented in different forms and contexts; convey the same message. The Great Gatsby illustrates the moral decay of the post war American society; the corruption of values and decline of spiritual life due the failure of the American Dream. While in American Beauty the film portrays the contemporary version of the American Dream; and rejects the idea that materialistic pursuits will bring happiness. Both texts are social satires that raise the issue of the failure of the American Dream through humour; and ridicule the social behaviour of society.

The Great Gatsby is written in the 1920s when the stock exchange was booming, capitalism was flourishing; and the emergence of the American Dream, the idea that each individual can get what they want from life through the effort of their own will. The war was over; people were building new lives and money was thought to bring happiness as well as social and financial success.

The Great Gatsby portrays the failure of the American Dream as it conflicts with the actual social conditions that existed. In reality invisible class barriers arise from the unwritten laws of social status. The author presents two groups of people representing two conflicting ideas. Gatsby who's idealism and beliefs in life's possibilities is juxtaposed against the Buchanans materialism. Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group yet is ultimately rejected by the Buchanans and their friends as an outsider. Gatsby's faith in his dream cuts him off totally from the rational and the practical. In contrast the lives of the Buchanans filled with material comforts and luxuries are empty of purpose as material success wiped out spiritual goals. Under Tom's hard malice Gatsby's life becomes shattered when he fails to get...