The immorality of the characters of Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan is due to the corrupted values popularized by the American Dream. This statement can be confirmed with the importance given to consumerism by Gatsby and his illegal act, and the supposedly superiority and the selfishness of Tom. The American society gives to Jay Gatsby immoral values and it also corrupts him by the importance given to money. Gatsby’s first contact with the American Dream is when he discovers Cody’s big yacht: “[…] that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world” (Fitzgerald 100). Cody is a man who makes his fortune with metal and who become alcoholic.
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.
Not only did it ruin the Wilson’s family but it also ruined the chances of Gatsby having a life of happiness. American dream is thought to bring happiness and success in life, but the novel, The Great Gatsby, says otherwise. Throughout Gatsby’s life the American dream fueled his passions but it lead to devastation and failures. Not only that, the social classes, ambitions, and materialism of the other characters show the corruption of the American dream. Overall, the American dream is depicted as corrupted and alludes the reader that it is an illusion that the society creates.
He throws lavish parties for countless people, yet he has no real friends. He buys very expensive things and entertains large groups of society because of his desire for something greater. He is so blinded by his luxurious possessions that he does not see that money cannot buy love or happiness. Although Nick realizes that Gatsby is involved in secret business dealings and he is fixated on money, he is a good, loyal man at heart. Before Gatsby dies Nick says “They’re a rotten crowd.... You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together” (Fitzgerald 162).
Gatsby’s dream is ignorant. It is based on the theory that the material objects, like money and wealth, can replace happiness, friendship and love. In the novel, Gatsby is described to be a self-made, wealthy, and romantic man. He threw lavish parties for countless numbers of people, but it was said that Gatsby had no true friends. Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick, describes him as, “a penniless young man without a past and at any moment the invisible cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders” (Fitzgerald pg.149).
Jay Gatsby started out poor and a self-made man guided by only hope. He believed money could achieve everything, specifically love and happiness. Fitzgerald interpreted how dreams can corrupt and poison the mind, blinding oneself as they became garnished in wealth. As Gatsby continued to rise in fame and power and amassed a mansion that glowed like “the World’s Fair,” he began to meet snobbish, condescending-like people. Gatsby, being raised differently, tried to associate himself like these people.
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.
However, although Willy is entranced by these illusions, the reality is that he is not a successful salesman and is fired. He also thinks Biff should be making good money and blames his son’s failure on his laziness. But it is Willy who has se... ... middle of paper ... ...d a the country” (129), and that is the capitalist system, which is supposed to make life better for everyone. Steinbeck creates a connection between the rotten grapes and the moral decay among the businessmen because of their greed, a vice that is poisoning the American promise by bringing great hardship with little hope for a better future. In conclusion, both of these works use the deep personal loss of their characters to represent the greater dilemma posed by an American Dream that is elusive and, at least for them, never fulfilled.
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.
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.