"...all these things were part of the business of dreams. He had learned not to laugh at the advertisements offering to teach writing, cartooning, engineering, to add inches to the biceps and to develop the bust."

Miss Lonelyhearts thinks this while in the Spanish restaurant with Mary in "Miss Lonelyhearts and Mrs. Shrike." The "business of dreams" refers more generally to the American Dream, the incessantly promulgated belief that anyone could move up the economic and social ladder of America. Much American literature after World War I, and especially during the Great Depression, criticized the morality and illusory nature of the American Dream. Rather than simply condemning those people who succumb to the temptations and false promises of advertisements, Miss Lonelyhearts classes them with his readers, labeling them grotesques who will do anything to reach a higher station in life. Miss Lonelyhearts is also trapped in the immoral American Dream, as he has muted his Christian beliefs in his column in favor of more digestible, circulation-friendly advice.