English II CP
December 5, 2014
A Change In Promise
The American Dream is an ideal that has been present in the majority of American literature including The Great Gatsby. Although this phrase has become a cliché we sometimes put it into use without knowing the meaning. What exactly does this famous American Dream mean? Some might say that it is a journey to wealth and prosperity, while others might say that it is nothing else but the beautiful promise of settling down, having children, being able to provide for your family, and basically living a pleasant worry-free life. However, over time, the original expedition for resolution and freedom has evolved into a continuing struggle to achieve a big house, a luxurious car, and a life filled with an abundance of green paper slips. This superficial aspect of the American dream is the one presented in The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald, however, gives the impression that overtime, the American Dream has morphed into a superficial and satirical promise.
Fitzgerald describes the 1920’s as an era of decayed morals, greed, and pursuit of opportunity instead of happiness. By the sumptuous parties that Gatsby throws often, they denote the corruption of the American dream demonstrating the unreserved desire for money and pleasure. “The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names (pg. 40). ” The fundamental perception that the American Dream can be achieved by anyone as long as they work hard turns out to ...
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... down with his empty eyes on people who have forsaken their spiritual values in the quest to achieve material wealth.
The novel’s depiction of the American Dream is negative because it delivers the message that America’s values have dropped and its goals changed. Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s poster, Jay Gatsby’s parties and the valley of ashes, prove that the quest for wealth and elite appearance is corrupting the meaning of what our country promises. Fitzgerald carefully sets up the message that the storyline and our promised American Dream are to be headed for disaster. The Great Gatsby is not just about the life of Jay Gatsby or a romantic novel; it is about the life and death of the old American Dream.
1) Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
2) Used no specific webpage but searched for general
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