The Fallacy Of The American Dream In Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby"

801 words - 3 pages

The Roaring Twenties, The Jazz Age; these were just some of the names for the 1920s. However, all those fancy names do not actually describe the essential motivations of the people in the 1920s. In actuality, the 1920s were an age of conformity, false aspirations due to the American dream, and the obsession with social class statuses.
What is the American dream? The simplest version of the American dream is a nice house and family, with the white picket fence in the front yard. For many families this dream came true, but for others, it was not quite possible to achieve. In Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, Nick gives his thoughts on Gatsby after things between him and Daisy fall through. He says “He must have felt he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream…” (8). When you concentrate on just one dream you are blind to other alternatives and dreams. With your mind set so tight on one idea, you are unconsciously setting yourself up for failure because you have no back up plan. The 1920s seemed to be full of wealth and fame but this was not valid. According to statistics, “It is a fact that millions of people lived below the poverty line in the 1920s”. It is clear now that you always need another dream to fall back on. Because of the fallacy of the American dream, many people were left with nothing because what they strived for was not sufficiently backed up.
America symbolized struggles between traditionalists and those who echoed conformity and intolerance, which resulted in strong feelings against opposing races. Everyone in the 1920s wanted all the glitters and gold as the famous and rich stars. Because of this, most people resorted to conformity in order to pretend that they were the same; this resulted in racism and sexism. This can be seen when Tom talks about his views on civilization, “Civilizations going to pieces. I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things… The idea is if we don’t look out the white race, will be utterly submerged…” (Fitzgerald. 1). Being different in the 1920s, whether it be the color of your skin or the social class you were part of, gave you a hard time to go through life normally like everyone else. According to an online editor, the 1920s were described as the...

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