Ultimately, Tom is quite saddened by Myrtle’s death, not because he loved her as a person, but because he loved having control over her. Now that she is dead, Tom is no longer a man of power as that power has been destroyed. Thus, in the novel according to Fitzgerald, when man focuses solely on success from power, corruption is the result. Therefore, the author supports the vision that intense pursuit of success by the individual leads to their corruption and ultimately a more corrupt society. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald has a pessimistic vision of America and his depiction is that when man concerns himself with only his success, the result is corruption.
Digging deeper, however, it is clear that the novel is more than just a love affair between Gatsby and Daisy; rather it is an accurate reflection of the 1920s. The Great Gatsby depicts the corruption and human depravity of the times to illustrate how the American Dream is marked by greed and lack of moral values. Primarily, F. Scott Fitzgerald condemns the lack of morality during the 1920s in The Great Gatsby. His portrayal of the 1920s describes a time when society was very materialistic and was obsessed with money. People would do absolutely anything, no matter how unethical, to attain the American Dream; but what they did not realize was that money cannot buy happiness.
The novel “The Great Gatsby” reveals the reader the failure of the American dream values and the consequences when living that kind of life. The reader can see that the money and wealth are the synonyms of the happiness in this novel. However, it is a veracious fact that people cannot buy happiness for money. James Gatz, who made himself in pursuit of stability in wealth, is the example of a crash of the American dream canons. Gatsby, this name he took to conquer the world, had “something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life” (Fitzgerald 2).
He knows he can be more dominant around Myrtle since she is poor. He knows he cannot be that way towards Daisy since she comes from money herself. The idea of the American dream is totally destroyed in The Great Gatsby because of the way the characters interact in the story. In conclusion, The Great Gatsby reveals the carelessness and shallowness of the characters in the upper class. Society is totally corrupted and the character’s lives revolve around the money and extravagant lifestyles.
Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American dream very elaborately and shows the idea of the American dream to be connected with the goal of achieving wealth. Fitzgerald does not praise wealth in the Great Gatsby but condemns it by drawing attention to the dreadful fall made by Gatsby. Fitzgerald finds the desire of wealth to be a corrupting impact on people. Throughout the novel, the characters with money contradict the idea of the American dream. They are portrayed to be very snobbish and unhappy people.
A Corrupted Society In the 1920s, the American territory is transformed by a new dream that touches its population. The American Dream, which is in brief to achieve a perfect life and having everything you want, causes in part decadence, excess, and disillusionment. Being wealthy is certainly one of the main accomplishments that characterized the American society. Through his characters, the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald reveals the consequences of this dream on the population. The immorality of the characters of Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan is due to the corrupted values popularized by the American Dream.
Success and fortune have been a downfall in the search for the American Dream. It has corrupted society’s ethics in all, family values and morals, and psychological well-being. In part to the fact that “The American Dream” and the way Americans wish to live can be unreachable by the average person. Society once was based on truth, passion, and liberty for all but now is a mere illusion, focusing on money, power and how to reach it; portraying materialism and wealth as the “American Dream” and self-actualization, as portrayed by Miller in Death of a Salesman. The American Dream came to mean fame and fortune, instead of a promise that shaped a nation.
Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby utilises the interaction between Jay Gatsby and his dreams, to accentuate and explore relevant ideas. As a result, Gatsby’s antagonistic dreams and materialistic values portray how his character has developed and portrayed before and after his death, in contrast to the protagonist who is Gatsby’s character and personality. This is because it is his dreams and ideals that blind him from conceiving the idea that he is an unaccepted individual in American society and that he is inferior to the other citizens of West Egg; the outcome of this is his death at the end of the novel. Forbidden love is explored by Gatsby’s misunderstanding of why he cannot fall in love with Daisy, because it is almost as he perceives society to be egalitarian and not hierarchical. This is shown by vivid imagery, when ‘He stretched out his arms towards the dark water in a curious way … a single green light, minute far away, that might have been the end of a dock?’ (Fitzgerald, 2010, p. 25).
Gatsby’s life reeked of self-indulgence and his actions were far from pure and virtuous, which are the main principle of this “Dream”. Gatsby, along with Tom and Daisy, represent the Americans corrupted by wealth, prosperity and success. It is because of their mindset, that the “American Dream” was tarnished in the first
The money gives them the ability to walk all over others, careless of whom they hurt and affect. Daisy Buchanan represents the corruption of the American dream; her careless actions resulted in destroying the ones around her. Although Daisy appears to be full of light and kindness, she is truly self-centered. Fitzgerald develops his social commentary on the idea of wealth corrupting morality and the American dream through the lack of values that Daisy embodies. Daisy is Gatsby’s American dream; she is the symbol of perfection and became the center of his life.