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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Many Americans yearn for a life of luxury; a life of class and entitlement. Some of these people try to act upon this desire to acquire this lifestyle. Throughout The Great Gatsby, the author uses the novel to introduce the idea of how his dream is practically unattainable. Unattainable, that is, if you weren't entitled to live this luxurious life. Through the relationships of Tom and Daisy Buchanan as well as George and Myrtle Wilson, F. Scott Fitzgerald criticizes how love forces the American Dream to grow more and more unattainable over time due to external factors. However, in the end, the characters will be stuck in their original relationship arrangements.
Through the couples who are already in a relationship, Fitzgerald uses the symbol and emotions in love to push them apart and discover new love. Starting early on in the novel, we learn that Tom’s has been cheating on his wife with another woman, Myrtle Wilson. For instance, in the beginning chapters, we witness Tom having mysterious phone calls with an unknown mistress. The family seemed to be quite aware and accustomed to this ongoing event. Tom thinks this is okay and justifies his actions by saying, “And what's more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time” (Fitzgerald 122). Tom has fooled himself into thinking that it is acceptable to cheat on Daisy because he had come back over time. He is then surprised when Daisy has found another romantic interest. In reality, he was the one pushing Daisy away. In turn, they both were on a destructive path that would potentially ruin their marriage. Throughout his article, literary critic Brian Sutton discusses Tom and Daisy...

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... escape to the freedom of having newer, potentially happier relationships. They, too, became stuck in the relationship they had previously committed to. Both of these pairs of couples wanted to leave their current situation; alas, both of them remained unsuccessful in discovering their true soul mates and were trapped in their previous arrangements.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925
Sutton, Brian. "Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby." Explicator Fall 2000: 37-39. Rpt. in Twentieth
Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Linda Pavlovski. Vol. 157. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature
Resources from Gale. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
Young, Thomas Daniel. "The Great Gatsby: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature.
Ed. Jim Kamp. 3rd ed. Detroit: St. James, 1994. N. pag. Literature Resources from Gale.
Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
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