人们来到美洲重新开始，体验现代奢侈品和新技术。成为激烈竞争的一部分，利用资本主义和唯物主义的时代——总的来说，通过自己的方式致富。因此，实现伟大的美国梦是本杰明•富兰克林(Benjamin Franklin)“人是完美的”格言的延伸。富兰克林是美国意识形态的伟大象征，也是美国许多根深蒂固的态度和信仰的奠基人。富兰克林是最早承认自己是企业家的人之一，他的许多著作成为激励美国人积极主动、努力成为最好的人的巨大动力。他的观点建立在一种普遍的乐观主义之上，即只要有正确的动机和活动，任何人都可以成为一个有偿付能力、受人尊敬的人。在美国历史上，也许没有比20世纪20年代更能体现出人们对美国梦的痴迷。在战后时期，它成为了一个极其富裕的国家，迅速实现了工业化并提高了生活质量。那是一个粗鄙奢侈司空见惯的时代。美国总统赫伯特•胡佛(Herbert Hoover)在1925年说过，“我们将根除贫困，每个汽车修理厂将拥有两辆汽车”。表面上看，这个国家因其自身的成功而繁荣昌盛。人们因有可能通过物质财富继续获得幸福而欢欣鼓舞。然而，这种在承诺回报的情况下为未来不懈努力的气氛也有其不利的一面。许多作者发现美国人的新态度过于自负。赫尔曼·梅尔维尔与埃德加·爱伦·坡和纳撒尼尔·霍桑的许多作品都在隐喻中探讨了这一观点，但在伊夫林·沃、J.D.塞林格，当然还有f·斯科特·菲茨杰拉德的小说中都有体现。这些作者试图表明，美国人民正在发生变化——变得肤浅和自我消费，并将幸福误解为财富和物质主义。
People fledged to the Americas to start afresh, to experience modern luxuries and new technology. To become a part of the rat race and exploit the age of capitalism and materialism – overall to become rich through one’s own means. To realise the great American Dream therefore was an extension of Benjamin Franklin’s maxim of the ‘perfectibility of man’. Franklin was a great emblem of American ideology and a founder of much of its deepest held attitudes and beliefs.Franklin was one of the first self-confessed entrepreneurs and his many written works became great incentives for Americans to become pro-active and to try and be the best one could be. He founded his ideas on the prevailing optimism that with the right motivation and activity anyone could become a solvent, well-respected individual.Perhaps no time in America’s history quite demonstrated the people’s obsessive preoccupation with the American dream than the 1920s. In the post-war period, it became an incredibly affluent country, rapidly industrialising and developing the quality of life. It became a time when gross extravagances were commonplace. The American president Herbert Hoover said in 1925 ‘We will root out poverty and put two cars in every garage‘. On the surface of it, the nation was thriving with its own successes. People were elated by the possibility of continued happiness through material wealth.However, this atmosphere of striving relentlessly towards the future in the promise of rewards had a bitter flipside. Many authors found the new attitude of American people overly conceited. This idea in particular is explored in metaphor in many of Herman Melville’s works together with Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, but demonstrably so in the novels of Evelyn Waugh, J.D. Salinger and of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald. These authors tried to show that the people of America were changing – becoming superficial and self-consumed and misconstruing happiness as wealth and materialism.