Also the purposeless existences that many people lived, when they should have been fulfilling their potential. American people lacked all important factors to make life worthwhile. Gatsby is a dreamer, he dreams that one day he and Daisy will be able to be together once again. To achieve this dream Gatsby has made himself a rich man. He knows that in order to win Daisy back he must be wealthy and of high social stature.
The American dream stands as a symbol for hope, prosperity, and happiness. But F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, examines the American dream from a different perspective, one that sheds light on those who contort these principles to their own selfish fantasies. Fitzgerald renders Jay Gatsby as a man who takes the Dream too far, and becomes unable to distinguish his false life of riches from reality. This 'unique' American novel describes how humanity's insatiable desires for wealth and power subvert the idyllic principles of the American vision. Jay Gatsby is the personification of limitless wealth and prestige, a shining beacon for the aspiring rich.
In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald instead presents this spirit as a corruption, as the people who purse it fall into the misconduct of money. Corrupt values, greed, and the empty pursuit of pleasure are all parts of the downfall of the American Dream. The idea of an American Dream first started in the Declaration of Independence, as people are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Dream was suppose to be a life of personal happiness and material comfort. However, as money became easy to get and as social values loosened up, the American Dream changed, turning it into an immoral and corrupt passion.
Gatsby Himself later states “She only married you because I was poor…It was a terrible mistake. '; (131). These quotes explain Gastby’s belief, that if he becomes rich, he will be able to obtain love from Daisy. This is quite contrary to the ideas of Ben Franklin represented in this quote “Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor';, this quote explains that life itself is the reward, not the things that money can bring to it. Many wealthy people assume that it is their right to have others listen to and follow their own wishes, or thoughts.
In the novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author establishes materialism and wealth as a corruption to the American dream. The American dream embodies the idea of self-sufficient, honest and intelligent individual with a happy successful life. It is also the idea of the pursuit of happiness but Daisy Buchanan a wealthy aristocrat goes after the empty pursuit of pleasure, portraying her character as a disillusionment of the American dream and how much it lost its good values. The wealthy are blinded by all their money, such as the Buchanan’s who forget the real idea of the American dream leading them to having no morals or values. The money gives them the ability to walk all over others, careless of whom they hurt and affect.
The wealthy men controls the society while the poor works diligently in order to survive and reach their dreams. The ‘rags to riches’ stories like Ben Franklin’s testimony explained in The American dream by Luella Putnam gives hope to the young workers that one day they will become living a life of luxury and happiness. The three distinctive classes that are pointed out in the novel are the ‘new money’, ‘old money’, and the ‘no money’. Gatsby falls under the category of ‘new money’. “Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn” (Fitzgerald ch.1).
Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald embodies may themes, however the most salient one relates to the corruption of the American Dream. The American Dream is that each person no matter who he or she is can become successful in life by his or her own hard work. The dream also embodies the idea of a self-sufficient man, an entrepreneur making it successful for himself. The Great Gatsby is about what happened to the American dream in the 1920s, a time period when the dream had been corrupted by the avaricious pursuit of wealth. The American dream is sublime motivation for accomplishing ones goals and producing achievements, however when tainted with wealth the dream becomes devoid and hollow.
Founders of the American society were largely crude capitalists who viewed success a product of wealth and gain. Does this really bring people happiness? Individuality and community is what developed societies and if there is no equilibrium there will be no happy society. In the Red Convertible (Erdrich 134) there is a lack of community in the story as Henry returned from his service in Vietnam. Coming back home a totally changed man, Henry is very mean and nervous.
America has long been known as a land of opportunity. Out of that thinking comes the "American Dream," the idea that anyone can ultimately achieve success, even if he or she began with nothing. In "The Death of a Salesman", Arthur Miller uses the characterization of Willy Loman to represent the failure of his ideal of the American Dream. Willy’s quest for the American Dream leads to his failure because throughout his life he pursues the illusion of the American Dream and not the reality of it. His mindset on perfection, obsession with success, and his constant reminiscence of the past and predictions of the future, all contribute to his defeat in the end.
The Great Gatsby beautifully documents the death of the pure American Dream in the 1920s, when wealth and the materialistic attitudes began replacing the pure ideals of success and genuine content. Through Gatsby's dissatisfaction with the unfulfilling life that money provided him and through the immoral recklessness of Tom and Daisy caused by their selfishness, Fitzgerald accused the rich of killing the old American Dream and of creating a materialistic society that was rarely satisfied with what they had. Fitzgerald credited the destruction of the old American Dream to money and to those that obsessively worshipped that money, exposing the nation's open willingness to give money the power to control and corrupt American lives. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.