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The Contemporary American Experience: The Great Gatsby Tanneth Mendenhall

856 words - 4 pages

The novel The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald is the great American novel. It is full of the disillusioned, the skeptics, the hypocrites and the careless dreamers of high society New York. The characters are reckless in the way they live, hurting each other and having fake relationships, abandoning people. The characters betray each other, over and over throughout the novel, they question Gatsby’s sincerity, and they are horrible people. This novel truly breaks the traditions associated with the pureness of the American dream; it reflects the contemporary American experience. It does so by the carelessness of the characters as well as their hypocrisy and skepticism.
In today’s world we celebrate the careless people, the reckless celebrities who get away with breaking the law, and the pharmaceutical companies who don’t care that what they do is killing people. It as if having money gives someone the right to be careless. This shown in every major character in the Great Gatsby one character, Jordan Baker, just comes right out and says that she is careless. Tom and Daisy are careless in the way they think their actions won’t have consequences,the sad thing is though, it is true, and Daisy is not sent to jail for running over and killing a woman and Tom gets awaywith having an affair. Not to mention Nick who does not say anything to his “friend” Tom about daisy and Gatsby, he doesn’t tell Gatsby the nasty rumors he hears about him, he is not noble or caring he just watches carelessly while these people destroy lives. Even Gatsby is careless, not just in the way he throws around money, but because he is overly confidant. He is careless in the way he completely acts like someone he isn’t, calling people “old sport” and flaunting his money, theway he could speed in his car and not get a ticket because of his little white card. He’s also careless with his heart he gave it away to the first girl he could and it truly was the death of him. The rich are careless and terrible people, this wasn’t part of the American dream of progress or a new Eden, or faith, or a triumphing individual, its cold, and it is contemporary in its bitterness, its carelessness. Who in the real world really is careful though when they have five maxed out credit cards and two mortgages? Or young stars who break the law just because the can get away with it. The contemporary American experience is a careless adventure.
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