Effects Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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The American Dream is defined in the Merriam-Webster Learning Dictionary as “a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful”. The concept of The American Dream became relevant in the 1920s, following World War II. With soldiers returning from the war, many families started to blossom and settle down in rural areas. Unfortunately, society began to lose touch with the true meaning of success pertaining to The American Dream. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby’s inability to escape the past leaves him aimlessly chasing after Daisy - the lover he will never win over. His obsession with money and power lead…show more content…
Since prohibition is in action, drinking is illegal, but that doesn’t stop these parties from supplying it. Gatsby is able to obtain alcohol because he is a bootlegger. He does this for two reasons: to achieve a higher social status, and to make money. Gatsby wants to become rich in order to impress Daisy. By doing this illegally, it reveals that he is unwilling to work hard and would rather cheat his way towards success. Alberto Lena expands this topic by saying “In fact, money earned without labor was an invitation to corruption in the eyes of a Republican nation and it was assumed that hereditary wealth had caused the decline of Europe” (41). People who earn their money by cheating are destined to become corrupt. Gatsby himself is left with nothing at the end of the novel. The original definition of the American Dream presumes that an individual is only successful if they earned their money through hard work. By the twenties, people would do almost anything to up their rank in society, even if it was illegal. This reveals that the American Dream was dead because the original definition tied with the concept was no longer…show more content…
Tom and Daisy Buchanan are a perfect example of what happened to people who got too caught up in materialism and status. Over the course of the novel, Nick grows to despise his cousins.
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things in 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… (Fitzgerald 179).
Although Tom and Daisy seem to have the perfect life, they are extremely unhappy on the inside and in their relationship. They are corrupt along with the rest of society and toss away their only chance of a happy life in order to have a lavish lifestyle. The most important word in the definition of The American Dream is happy; Tom and Daisy are far from happy, revealing their failure - along with many others - to truly achieve it. Introducing The American Dream created huge expectations for an individual’s later years. It gave society a vision of how they wanted their life to turn out. Gatsby is undoubtedly one of them. The green light on Daisy’s dock is a representation of his
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