F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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The 1920s was a time of excess and growth. Economically, it was a time for great financial gain. Largely because of improvements in technology, productivity increased while overall production costs decreased, and the economy grew. Not only was this time filled with prosperity, but corruption as well. People who had previously worked day and night finally acquired leisure time. Some of the most wealthy people made the choice to fill this free time with gluttony and lust. Many authors during this time believed that the excessive spending and consumption would surely lead to ruin. Although many people associate good times and carefree abandon with the reverie of the 1920s, some also suggest a hidden, much darker side. In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, conveyed his belief that wealth and materialism corrupted the American Dream. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald shows his disapproval of the times by portraying characters attempting to achieve their American Dream by any means possible. Myrtle Wilson, a low class inhabitant of the valley of ashes, puts her morals to the side when pursuing the wealthy life. Not even marriage stops Myrtle from having an affair with Tom Buchanan-- a rich man who enables her to finally buy the life she thinks she deserves. Not only does Myrtle cheat on her own husband, but she has an affair with someone who caught her eye with "a dress suit and patent leather shoes and [she] couldn't keep [her] eyes off him" (Fitzgerald 40). It is not a love for Tom that attracted Myrtle, but his money and power that she lusts after. Jay Gatsby-- a man actually in love with Daisy Buchanan and not simply the money she represents-- aspires to achieve his dream of wealth in... ... middle of paper ... ...ent within Tom and Daisy signify that wealth cannot buy a person everything, including happiness. Fitzgerald questions the validity of the fiscally inclined American Dream within The Great Gatsby. During the 1920s, F. Scott Fitzgerald conveyed his disdain for the corruption within the American dream by depicting the immoral actions of society in his literature with a disapproving tone. Even though the country was economically prosperous, people increasingly lost much needed morals on their journey of the American Dream. Affairs and other sins took place with little guilt. People got caught up in the corruption around them in order to try to get their piece of the growing wealth. Without making some changes, society could have been on its way to self-devastation. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1st ed. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.
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