The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1417 words - 6 pages

Modern culture clearly identifies the persistent thoughts of how people feel they warrant more. American exceptionalism appears in R. Kelly’s ageless song, “I Believe I Can Fly.” The main concept of the lyrics is about being greater than the common standards and achieving more than what seems possible. “I believe I can fly/ I believe I can touch the sky/ I believe I can soar/ I see me running through that open door” (Kelly). R. Kelly’s words are undoubtedly inspirational and motivating; however, being the one special person that gets the opportunity to “run through that open door” is a very slim probability (Kelly). The American dream appeals to Tom trying to get what his true love, just as American’s use this song as a way of showing they believe they are worthy of overcoming everyone else. In Charles Murray’s “American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History,” the nature of humans tendency to feel like they “can touch the sky” is described (Kelly). America, at its beginning, separated from European life in, “geography, ideology, politics, and daily life,” creating a newly formed independent nation (American). The future of America was bound to be superior to other countries because the United States possessed qualities that simply made it special.
Need for supremacy is prominent in the present generation, known as Generation Y Yuppies. Twenty and thirty year olds presently have an egocentric persona that guides them to act as if they are the only one who matters. The upbringing for this stemmed from years of being told, “they could be whatever they wanted,” and allowing them to have, “the special protagonist identity deep with their psyches” (Generation 3). In the fictitious representation, the generation Y children, products of the “special” era, claim to understand that “most people are not special” because then being unusual would have no relevance (Generation 7). The issue that still arises is that the GYPSYs continue to think that they “are actually one of the few special ones” and the “world is just waiting to see how amazing [they] are” (7).
Jay Gatsby carries this same reputation growing up in a lower-than average income family and being inspired to go make a better life for himself. Because his parents were, “shiftless and unsuccessful farm people,” Gatsby, had legally changed his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, “at the age of seventeen” when, “he witnessed the specific moment of the beginning of his career” (Great 104). He thought, like society today, that he deserved more than what his parents had and sought to achieve satisfaction. Gatsby, like the generation Y, are subjects of over-indulgence. Americans are unable to understand that wealth and success is not the answer to all of the problems in life. Awarding young children with trophies and medals to symbolize their importance in every activity fosters the “specialty” problem present today. Everybody has the expectation that they reign higher, but nobody can achieve their...

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