Daisy’s Corruption of the American Dream

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Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines corruption as the impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle. In “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author explains through different characters the corruption of the American Dream. One of the characters is the narrator’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan. In the story, Daisy only cares about possessions and not people, she lets other people take the fall for her actions, and she is unable to love—the quintessential victim by her own design. Daisy’s sense of happiness is based on her materialism; resulting in her lack of wisdom or empathy regarding human relationship. She disregards the welfare of other human beings, because she only cares about the things that Tom gives her; the house, money, and jewelry. Furthermore, Daisy's focus on materialism causes her to act out like a selfish human being through her thoughtless lifestyle. Nick states, "I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” (188). Daisy's carelessness reveals her corruption as a human being. She uses her wealth and social status to escape whatever she chooses, like the death of Myrtle. Additionally, her actions demonstrate the dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain and attention. Daisy’s character, due to her money, inherently values her advantage over the lower class, revealing a nature of entitlement. Additionally, she gives no respect to anyone around her, sometimes n... ... middle of paper ... ... with the consequences of her actions. Throughout “The Great Gatsby,” corruption is evident through the people within it. However, we discover with Daisy, initially believed to be a victim of her husband’s corruption—we find she is the eye of the storm. In the story, the reader feels sorry for Daisy, the victim in an arranged marriage, wanting her to find the happiness she seemingly longed for with Gatsby. Ultimately we see Daisy for what she is, a truly corrupt soul; her languish and materialistic lifestyle, allowing Gatsby to take the blame for her foolish action of killing Myrtle, and feigning the ultimate victim as she “allows” Tom to take her away from the unsavory business she has created. Daisy, the definitive picture of seeming innocence is the most unforeseen, therefore, effective image of corruption—leading to a good man’s downfall of the American Dream.
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