The Downfall of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

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The American Dream is an idea. A fantasy in which there is complete prosperity and success. It was about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. The American Dream filled the hopes and desires of every person in the country, as it became a national ethos. 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. In the Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby dedicates his life to reunite with Daisy, his love of his life. However, there is a difference in social status between her and him, forcing Jay Gatsby to turn into illegal crime and bootlegging to become wealthy quickly. Instead of nobly achieve such status; Gatsby turns to an illicit lifestyle to pursuit an empty happiness, which he never achieves. As Jay Gatsby pursues this dream, his dream itself becomes corrupted, as the way he achieves his dream is immoral and ill passion.

After World War I, society faced a dramatic change. As the stock market rises, it led to an increase in national wealth, making money easily to be gain. In the story, Jay Gatsby, or James Gatz is a believer of the American Dream, as he purses it throughout his life. Af...

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...the book, tries to achieve his version of the American Dream. His passion and desire to reunite with Daisy has resulted in a complete failure. The dream he once had was just a memory, and at the end of the book, he finally realized that his efforts were futile, as the Daisy he once loved was gone forever. The American dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Most believe that money can solve this, but the truth is inevitable. The world will never spin in will, and we must make the best out of the lives we have. The America Dream that was supposedly to help us discover ourselves, and help us purist happiness, nevertheless it is nothing but corruption and immoral passion.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004.
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