The American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

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The American Dream is a way of life and ideal that all people have strived for in their lives. Its meaning and hope is in finding well-found success, wealth and power through independence and self-determination. The purchasing of a home, possessing material items, and living a life of leisure has all evolved into the realities of the American dream. In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the American dream is shown as a system that is corrupted by the pursuit of wealth, greed and ego, which undermines the good and empowering faith and morals of people and society. This corrupted behavior is shown through the characterizations of the wealthy Tom and Daisy Buchanan, who use people and things and treat them worthlessly and are fated for the Valley of Ashes, a crumbling and gloomy scene where smoke and ashes make up the city. (27) Both Daisy and Tom were born into great wealth, always living lives of luxury and opulence. They have fully achieved the American dream that all people strive for and live very coveted lives. However, both their characters are so corrupted and selfish, that the good faith and morals that should be led in their privileged lives are hindered. Daisy lives her privileged life with no purpose; she drifts within her life and takes no hold of her priorities. Her own perspective on life is shown as she introduces her daughter. Although she shows affection to her daughter, it is used to boast about her and show her off. (123) Her surroundings have no meaning to her. She uses the people around her to fit into the social scene and boast her wealth and fake happiness, which obstructs her morals and emotions as a human being. Daisy valued life holds no true meaning for her. She treats others horribly without a ... ... middle of paper ... ...after he finds out about Daisy and Gatsby’s affair. (137) Even though Tom is an adulterer himself, he cannot stand the thought of his wife doing the same. He is a jealous hypocrite, who lusts for all the power and puts shame to his name and affluent life. Even though Daisy and Tom both live the lives that all dreamers aspire to have. They put the faith and good heartedness of that dream to shame by being corrupted citizens of society who hold no moral and ethical purpose in their lives. All the hard work and good faith that people put into achieving the American dream is diminished by the selfish and careless acts of these characters. While their wealth has easily come to them, they do not see the worth in their surroundings and lives around them. They take everything for granted and are not appreciative of their honorable life as the dream came so easily to them.
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