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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 6 page paper which examines an individual’s need to obtain the American Dream, as revealed through the ex-colored man’s relationships with his black mother, white father, and his friend Shiny, and Jay Gatsby’s relationships with Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Nick Carraway. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
6 pages (~225 words per page)
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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:
of parents for their children to be more prosperous than they and the shared belief that success can be within anyones reach through hard work. The unnamed piano prodigy
narrator of James Weldon Johnsons The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) and the mysterious Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgeralds masterpiece, The Great Gatsby (1925) have nothing in common
but their wish to experience the American Dream for themselves, which will distance them from the financial hardship and social inequities of the past. Their individual versions of the
American Dream are revealed in the ex-colored mans relationships with his black mother, his white father (and white benefactor and father figure), and his friend Shiny, and in Gatsbys relationships
with Daisy Buchanan, her husband Tom, and their mutual friend Nick Carraway. Both mens seemingly different journeys would lead them toward the same conclusion: "Assimilation is the magic
in the American Dream. Just as in our actual dreams, magic permits us to transform into better, more beautiful creatures, so too in the American Dream, assimilation permits us
to become not only Americans, but the kind of Americans we seek to be" (Yoshino 769). Author James Weldon Johnson was "well aware of the way African American identity
had become irreducible to a simple set of criteria" (Favor 28). In The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, it becomes clear that "a rising middle class which since emancipation...
[was] deeply imbued with the goals and ideals inherent in the traditional notion of the American dream" (Favor 28). The ex-colored man had been introduced to the American Dream
by his black mother, who believed her son was entitled to a better life because he was fathered by a socially-connected white Southern gentleman. Long believing himself to be