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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 status, money and power through work. You had to put in work to become on top. The American Dream was also based on family. However, times have change, so do values. The American Dream transformed into the materialistic aspects. The goal was to have a huge house, extravagant cars, and live life easily. It was no longer about work and dedication. Materialistic objects determines success now instead of verse versa, which shows corruption has taken place. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the American Dream and its corruption through the evolution of a society from the wealth and social statuses they achieved.
One way that Fitzgerald illustrates the American Dream and its corruption is through the decay of moral and social values. Once the American Dream has transformed to a more materialistic view, the loss of moral and social values began to happen. Society was becoming lost in wealth which leads to greed. The pursuit of happiness turned into the pursuit of pleasure. For example in the novel, Gatsby began to throw wild parties every Saturday. Gatsby began to become ignorant and allow the newfound wealth to go to his head. The true goal of love was tainted and lost from the new social status, he gained. Gatsby at one time was also not being true to himself which shows a loss of his moral and social values. He reinvented his self. Jay Gatsby began as James Gatz because he no longer wanted to be associated with his parents. “I supposed he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all" (Fitzgerald, 105)." Gatsby lost his moral and social values throughout the novel. " He has lived not for himself, but for the dream, for his vision of the good life inspired by the beauty of a lovely rich girl" (Fahey, 71)" Crime was also in the novel. It shows a loss of the moral values in society. Crimes such as bootlegging, distribution of alcohol, and theft. Crime was view as a fast way to get money and it was efficient. It was harder to get a job and work for the money. This shows where the corruption of the American Dream came from. Crimes were portrayed as a faster way to get the American Dream versus getting a real job to achieve the American Dream.
Another way that Fitzgerald illustrates the American Dream and its corruption is through the unworthiness of pleasure and money. The novel focused on pleasure and money. Happiness was altered. Pleasure and happiness may seem the...

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