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The Ending of the American Dream

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The Ending of the American Dream
Since the early colonization of America, the American dream has been the ultimate symbol for success. In retrospect, the dreamer desires to become wealthy, while also attaining love and high class. Though the dream has had different meanings in time, it is still based on individual freedom, and a desire for greatness. During the 19th century, the typical goal was to settle in the West and raise a family. However, the dream progressively transformed into greediness and materialism during the early 20th century. The indication of success soon became focused on wealth and luxury. The Great Gatsby is a story focused on the deterioration of the American dream. Throughout the novel, Jay Gatsby is shown with a desire to achieve his dream by all means. Utilizing the Roaring Twenties as part of his satire, Fitzgerald criticizes the values of the American dream, and the effects of materialism on one’s dream.
Gatsby can be characterized as being ignorant. He assumes that wealth and possession equates to happiness and harmony. Gatsby’s American dream can be seen as being corrupted by his surroundings of wealth. Although as wealthy as his surroundings, his money does not necessarily mean he matches well with the East Eggers he is associated with. He spends enormous amounts of money, yet no one really likes him. He entertains large groups of people in hope of attaining something greater.
Gatsby’s failure to achieve his dream may be blamed on his romantic views of life. Every one of his actions was directed towards his dream. His view of the perfect lifestyle is encouraged by a beautiful and wealthy woman. Daisy Buchanan, whom Gatsby knew during World War I, is seen as the golden girl. She is who Gatsby desir...

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...lthy, yet the wealthy, such as the Buchanans, is unhappy and disgruntled with their lives. For example, Jordan Baker is described as always being bored with an unaffected look. These character portrayals makes readers question if wealth and luxury is really necessary.
The unhappy and careless people of both the East and West Egg represent the immorality and corruption that wealth can bring. Gatsby’s dream was ruined by his own materialistic views. His dream of success transformed into a nightmare that ultimately led to his death. Gatsby and the Buchanans are proof that wealth does not equate to happiness or success. Gatsby’s romantic idealism is so great that he does not understand how wealth cannot bring happiness or love. Fitzgerald’s novel is great reminder to those with materialistic views about the detrimental effects the “American dream” can have on society.
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