Hotel California & The Great Gatsby

Hotel California

For much of my life, the song Hotel California by The Eagles has been one of my favorites. Initially I was attracted to the sound and the beat. As I grew older I began to actually listen to the lyrics and provided my own interpretation of them. I’ve come to attribute it to the excess many Americans strive for in pursuit of the so-called “American Dream.”

Don Felder of The Eagles talking about the meaning behind Hotel California:

“It’s a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream, and about excess in America which was something we knew about.”

link to video with lyrics:

 The Great Gatsby

Although I’ve never read (or watched) The Great Gatsby, doing research for this assignment has enlightened me to some of the darker themes behind the literary masterpiece. Apparently one of the major themes is the disillusionment of the so-called “American Dream” by soldiers returning from World War I. They presumably had a new perspective from the terrible things they were exposed to during the war and saw the elite as concerned with only cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure.” As explained further from the source (sparknotes):

“As Fitzgerald saw it (and as Nick explains in Chapter 9), the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. In the 1920s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast.”

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