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Corruption Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1576 words - 6 pages

April 7, 2014Corruption of the American Dream in The Great GatsbyENG 3UMatthew MayMrs. K. BentleyEssay OutlineThesis: In The Great Gatsby , the American Dream has been corrupted by the desire for wealth.Introduction• The Great Gatsby shows that the American Dream has been corrupted by the desire for wealth.First Paragraph• The Buchanans are both corrupted by money, even though they have "fulfilled" their dream.• Their money cannot buy love or happiness, which is what the American Dream is supposed to provide.• They are able to hide their actions behind their money.• Daisy runs over Myrtle, but Gatsby suffers the consequence - wealth has killed the old dream.Second Paragraph• Symbolism of the Valley of Ashes• Right next to people living the American Dream, showing how it cannot be fulfilled without corruption.• The "dream chasers" in New York have caused this valley of corruption to be formed.• The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg are God's eyes, but their attraction has been replaced with materialism.Third Paragraph• Gatsby's pure dream of Daisy becomes corrupted by wealth.• Gatsby resorts to materialism to "win" Daisy over.• Gatsby himself is incorruptible, what killed him is the corruption of his dream.• Daisy herself is corrupt, and she has no moral value or real love. The only thing luring Gatsby is her money.Conclusion• The Great Gatsby shows how wealth has corrupted the American Dream, through the characters of Daisy and Tom Buchanan, the symbol of the Valley of Ashes, and Gatsby's dream of Daisy."The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" (James Truslow Adams). This definition of the American Dream sounds faultless, ensuring that happiness and success can be achieved by all through work. However, in the novel The Great Gatsby , by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this ideal is depicted in a very different way. The dream is now about vast materialism and obtaining fortunes, without happiness ever being achieved. Fitzgerald uses the novel to shows how the once noble dream has been corrupted by the desire for wealth. This theme becomes apparent when one examines the characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, the symbolism of the Valley of Ashes, and the personal dream of Jay Gatsby.Tom and Daisy Buchanan live the American Dream. They have a seemingly endless amount of money, live in a mansion with a child, and are part of the elite upper-class of East Egg. However, they are actually two of the most unhappy characters in the entire novel. Evidence of this is found when Daisy says, "You see I think everything's terrible anyhow" (Fitzgerald, 22). She also begins her affair with Gatsby later in the novel, showing her displeasure with Tom. Furthermore, Tom continues to have affairs with multiple women, showing his discontent with his marriage and current life. Their...

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