The Great Gatsby: The Corruption Of The American Dream

1221 words - 5 pages

In 1931 James Truslow Adams published a book named ‘Epic of America’ in which he popularized the concept of The American Dream. In this book he stated “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…” and once that phrase was written, The American Dream became what we truly know it as nowadays. It is the right of freedom, prosperity, equality and pursuit of happiness through hard work. However, The American Dream is an ironic concept seeing as it never seems fully attainable. Although it is supposed to represent independence, liberty and the ability to make something of one’s self, most people nowadays find themselves indulged in materialism whilst pursuing it- consequently forgetting their origins and never achieving the true notion of the American Dream. This can be seen clearly in F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ where there are a variety of characters that are living or seeking The American Dream. Whether it was Daisy and Tom Buchanan who were supposedly living the perfect lifestyle, Jay Gatsby who found himself submerged in money and always throwing parties for the higher class population of New York as well as Daisy, or Myrtle Wilson who throughout the novel seeked to be a high class woman, they all ended up unhappy or lost their own lives as a consequence.

Jay Gatsby was a self-made millionaire who followed the tale of ‘rags to riches’, however he was blinded by his possessions and became corrupted by his need to acquire wealth, in the genuine hope of it bringing him happiness and having his love for Daisy Buchanan reciprocated. In the novel he is what would classify as ‘new money’ seeing as his wealth had been recently earned, not passed down from generations, and that caused a lot of confrontation towards Gatsby. People such as Tom Buchanan who were known as ‘old money’ did not display their wealth as much as ‘new money’. They were accustomed to the riches they had, whereas the ‘new money’ had only recently earned their wealth in the 1920’s and frequently felt the need to boast their riches to the public. Gatsby was well known in the area for throwing huge extravagant parties where there would only be high class guests. The parties had exquisite meals, extraordinary lights and were essentially the ‘must go to’ party in New York. However, the reason behind all the events was not to boast on his wealth but to capture Daisy Buchanan’s attention and hopefully re-gain her love. Corruption is evident in these parties, a vast majority of the guests simply attended Gatsby’s parties to enjoy the glamour they believed to be The American Dream. But as Nick Carraway states in the novel: “I looked around. Most of the remaining women were now having fights with men said to be their husbands…. One of the men was talking with curious intensity to a young actress, and his wife after attempting to laugh at the...

Find Another Essay On The Great Gatsby: The Corruption of the American Dream

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Corruption of the American Dream

1475 words - 6 pages life was a mockery to mankind.  The beauty of striving for one's dreams is found in the self-discipline and work required – there is little merit in lavishly rewarding yourself for a goal achieved.  Gatsby had no morals, no sense of self, and in truth, he had no life.  He had only his money, his dreams, and his “make believe” reality.  The Great Gatsby represents the complete corruption of the American dream. Works Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

Great Gatsby: The American Dream Essay

740 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties The Great Gatsby is a tale told by Nick Carraway, about the Roaring Twenties. In this story it shows how dreams can conquer and corrupt people’s common sense and good judgment. Throughout this book the main theme is the “American Dream”, and how the goals of society sometimes affected what the character did to accomplish their American Dream. In this story the chasing of the American Dream led

The Great Gatsby and The American Dream

1444 words - 6 pages The Great Gatsby brings a picture of the American society during the 1920's. This is a critical decade where the view of the American Dream has been transformed from the ideal dream to a materialistic dream. The view of the American Dream was always about coming from the bottom and working your way to the top. It was once based on discovery, self- reliance and happiness. The old American Dream before corruption allowed you to gain love, high

The Great Gatsby and the “American Dream”

1009 words - 5 pages the “American Dream”. The "American dream" can be explained simply as a better life obtained through hard work and determination. It is supposed to result in happiness for whoever achieves the dream. However, this “American Dream” can have different meanings to everyone. This includes two of the main characters of The Great Gatsby: Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Each character had a distinct interpretation of the “American Dream”. The title

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1904 words - 8 pages not as common in past generations Before 1920, corruption and greed were not as evident in American culture as well. The American Dream was pure and untainted, and people were convinced that they could succeed through dedication to their trade. The early life of Jay Gatsby is an example of this innocence and ambition. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Gatsby lived in poverty for most of his childhood. His parents were "shiftless and unsuccessful farm

The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

694 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby: The American Dream The Great Gatsby, written by Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that has many themes, however the most salient one relates to the corruption of the American Dream. The American Dream is that each person no matter who he or she is can become successful in life by his or her own hard work. The dream also shows the idea of a self-sufficient man, an entrepreneur making it successful for himself. I feel The Great Gatsby

"The Great Gatsby" and the American Dream

676 words - 3 pages a bootlegger out of his drug stores when Tom accuses him of it. This proves that Gatsby has used lies to hide the truth about himself and his past.In the novel, "The Great Gatsby", Gatsby exemplifies the American Dream. People wanted wealth not to better themselves, but to be able to flaunt it and use it for their own selfish benefits. The author reveals the corruption of wealth through Tom and Daisy and how they use their wealth to hide their mistakes. People in the twenties wanted to earn money, not for the future of their families, but for their own material desires.

The Great Gatsby : The American Dream

791 words - 3 pages Dream, or ‘the Daisy?’ The Dream, of course. The ‘Daisy’ he sees is a complete figment of his imagination, a part of his own personal American Dream, one that he’s striving to have a little piece of.      In the beginning of chapter one, we are shown a Gatsby in the middle of one of his weakest moments, when his guard is completely let down and his game face is off. He is looking out across the sea, and had “stretched his

Buying the american dream: "The Great Gatsby"

1832 words - 7 pages believes he can buy happiness, he can buy Daisy, and he can achieve a level of admiration in succulent East Egg. Gatsby is an excellent personification of someone trying to buy happiness. Buying the American Dream is something that almost everyone does, yet it never works, it is never enough. LBJ believed in personal happiness. He believed that only oneself, no outside influence such as money, could make oneself happy. Therefore, " . . . Our

"The Great Gatsby" and The American Dream

1487 words - 6 pages Discovery, Individualism, and the pursuit of happiness, this is the American Dream. Or at least what it used to be. People live their whole lives trying to accomplish this dream, but few actually do, why? How are the odds not in the favor of a million and more citizens? It's because the American Dream no longer exists. Laziness, easy money, and light-hearted values have corrupted the American Dream. "The Great Gatsby" at first seems like a story

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby

1497 words - 6 pages has not changed. The American dream made up of freedom, equality, and opportunity has greatly impacted literature and history and how the world works. Literature teaches us that over time these three things have changed and has made the world a different place. As the American dream changes, so will everything else. American literature teaches people of today's times how the American dream has evolved and how it has affected the world around it. Works Cited American Literature Text book, The Great Gatsby

Similar Essays

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

The Corruption Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

681 words - 3 pages The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the corruption of the American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to attain its illusionary goals. As the novel shows, the 20th century is a moral wasteland and a corruption of the original idealistic American Dream of the past. Fitzgerald's moral wasteland is shown physically in the "valley of

The Corruption Of The American Dream In Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1571 words - 6 pages Francis Scott Fitzgerald portrays the American Dream, originally a set of goals that included freedom, settlement, and an honest life with the possibility of upward social and economic mobility earned through hard work, as corrupted and debased by the egotistic materialism of the 1920s, an era which Fitzgerald characterizes chiefly by its greed and lavish hedonism, in his celebrated novel The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby, seeks

Corruption Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1437 words - 6 pages Broken Dreams and Fallen Themes In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald employs the use of characters, themes, and symbolism to convey the idea of the American Dream and its corruption through the aspects of wealth, family, and status. In regards to wealth and success, Fitzgerald makes clear the growing corruption of the American Dream by using Gatsby himself as a symbol for the corrupted dream throughout the text. In addition, when portraying the