The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

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The American Dream is portrayed by a dreamer who pursues to progress form scratch to riches, while gaining love, social status, wealth and power. Those in power, typically involving bribery, portray corruption as dishonest or fraudulent conduct. This applies to the western world where corruption is contributing to the downfall of society. Corruption in society is what leads us to think of the nation in a pessimistic way. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s vision of America is negative and his depiction is that when man is concerned with only his success, the result is corruption.
In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s vision of America is that a dream can become corrupted by one’s focus on wealth and expensive goods. The novel starts with a wealthy but lonely man who had one goal to be known. This man goes by the name Gatsby, Jay Gatsby. He fulfills his desire by throwing spontaneous parties for an unlimited amount of people, yet he has no real friends. Gatsby has an eye for money and continues to purchase expensive goods and throw parties for countless people, only to fulfill his desire to gain something greater.
He is so blinded by his grand title that he does not see that money cannot buy everything. Gatsby’s dream “is a naïve dream based on the fallacious assumption that material possessions are synonymous with happiness, harmony and beauty” (Fahey, 70). His American dream has become corrupted by the culture of wealth and fortunes that surround him. For example, when Nick offered to invite Daisy over he did it out of kindness for Gatsby. However, he does not
know how to receive a good gesture without an exchange of money. Overjoyed, Gatsby immediately offers to have someone cut Nick’s grass along with an underhand bus...


... middle of paper ...


...itzegerald, 135). Ultimately, Tom is quite saddened by Myrtle’s death, not because he loved her as a person, but because he loved having control over her. Now that she is dead, Tom is no longer a man of power as that power has been destroyed. Thus, in the novel according to Fitzgerald, when man focuses solely on success from power, corruption is the result.
Therefore, the author supports the vision that intense pursuit of success by the individual leads to their corruption and ultimately a more corrupt society. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald has a pessimistic vision of America and his depiction is that when man concerns himself with only his success, the result is corruption. Whether a man’s corrupt actions is the
cause of his downfall alone or the downfall of society, there is no doubt that individual corruption leads to individual ruin in the novel.

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