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The Consequences Of Misguided Dreams: The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

958 words - 4 pages

When people think of their dreams, they often include money, success, and material prosperity. The “Great American Dream” is something that many people are familiar with, but it does not have a clear definition. Everyone has their own definition of a dream. People often include freedom, money, or power in them. Although there may be many different definitions for the “Great American Dream” not all of them are noble, or correct. Misguided dreams lead to pain; in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie characters who follow their misconstrued dreams struggle towards happiness.
Throughout literature, the “Great American Dream” is portrayed as many ...view middle of the document...

Amanda feels determined to create a happy future for her children, even though it is not her responsibility. The validity of her dream almost makes up for the fact that she forces her own dream upon her children, causing unhappiness for them. Both Gatsby and Amanda follow a fake dream that eventually leads to loss and pain. With Gatsby, it leads to his death. With Amanda, it leads to Tom’s departure. Along with the presence of a false dream, the lack of any dream at all can also cause sorrow.
Opposite from Gatsby and Amanda, who follow broken dreams, Tom, Daisy, and Laura do not have any dreams. After Gatsby dies, Nick tries to contact Daisy, but it turns out that “she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them,” (164). Tom and Daisy are careless people. As soon as they make a mess, they run away. Their carelessness reflects their inability to actually strive for something other than social status. Tom and Daisy do not have dreams. They believe their lives are complete because they have an obscene amount of money, and they refuse to face the problems that they create. Similar to Tom and Daisy, Laura also struggles with finding her own dream to pursue. Throughout The Glass Menagerie, Laura seems to barely have an opinion. She mostly just listens to her mother and does all she can to please her. When Amanda tells Laura to make a wish on the moon, Laura asks, “What shall I wish for, Mother?” (49). It is evident that Laura has no real dreams of her own. She had to ask her mother what to wish for, giving her mother a sort of power that should solely belong to Laura. Laura should decide for herself what she wants and what is...

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