Literary Precedents for Ten North Frederick

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The elusive nature of the American Dream of wealth and social prominence — and its detrimental effect on those who pursue it — has been a frequent concern of American writers since the late nineteenth century. William Dean Howells's The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), and John Dos Passos' U.S.A. (1937) are just a few of the novels preceding Ten North Frederick that deal with this theme. Like these other writers, O'Hara is deeply sympathetic with those whose dreams are thwarted; from his perspective, the fault lies not with the individual people who pursue the promise of American success, but with the emptiness of the promises themselves. Jay Gatsby and Joe Chapin both "create" themselves in accordance with what the culture seems to demand of the successful individual. O'Hara's novel differs from Fitzgerald's, however, in its far more detailed delineation of...

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This section contains 183 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ten North Frederick Short Guide
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Ten North Frederick from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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