The Great Essay

1326 words - 5 pages

The Great

The Corruptness of the American Dream

The nineteen twenties was a decade of renaissance characterized by the
American Dream- the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better
than their parents. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby,
contains themes that continue to be relevant today. In his novel,
Fitzgerald reprehends the American dream by describing its
characteristics: the pseudo-relationship between money and happiness,
the superficiality of the rich, and the class strife between the rich
and the poor.

“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” (Mailer 97). This optimistic
view of the American Dream is inaccurate. One just needs to look to
Jay Gatsby, the protagonist in The Great Gatsby, in order to
understand what the American Dream really is. Gatsby appears to be
popular, wealthy, and happy. However, one would be oafish to believe
his false appearance. People who knew who Gatsby was were
flabbergasted when they had the opportunity to see him. Nick
Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby notes, “In his blue gardens
men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the
champagne and the stars” (Fitzgerald 43). Everyone wanted to talk to
Gatsby- who would not want to talk to a man who typifies the American
Dream spirit? Gatsby had every materialistic thing one could want,
having a beautiful car, nice clothes and even a nice house. Many men
and women marveled at Gatsby, although they were jealous and concocted
many stories about his past.

Jay Gatsby also was very confident in himself. In fact, when he talked
to people were not at his “standards”, he was often very condescending.
Gatsby had servants at his parties and loved having the power to boss
them around. Perhaps the real problem; however, is that he felt powerless
in his life. Although he was wealthy, there was one thing he did not
have-Daisy Buchanan. For many years, Gatsby idolized Buchanan and
found her to be completely desirable and without flaws. Buchanan was
wealthy and had a lot of social power. In addition, she was very
attractive. The only flaw most people would see in Daisy is that she
is married. Gatsby, because of his arrogant nature, did not care that
she was married. Since he believed that only his feelings were
important, he decided that he would try to take Daisy away from her
husband. Gatsby stated, “I don’t think she ever loved him [her
husband] (Fitzgerald 159). Gatsby’s imagination and arrogance led to
his decline.

Gatsby’s dream was not successful. Since he did not “have” Daisy, his
life was purposeless and empty. In fact, he had nothing to live for.
His wealth had not brought him happiness. Instead, however, it
brought him great displeasure: he had no friends and no family
members to talk to. Fitzgerald used Gatsby to illustrate that...

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