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.
James Gatz, which is his original name, was born in a poor low-class family. His parents were “shiftless and unsuccessful” farm people (98). However “[he] had never really accepted them as his parents at all” and did not accept his faith (98). Thus, he changed his path of life completely on his own at the age of seventeen. He got rid of his name given by his family and struck out from their influence, from their unsuccessful life, and sought for a new life.
America is a place where the old caste system is abandoned and freedom to do anything and be anyone is taken to a new extreme. In the 1920’s those who were born into wealth looked down on those who had just acquired it. The old rich had high-class traditions, which the new rich lacked. The old rich also did not trust the new rich made evident as Tom says to Nick “ a lot of these newly rich people are just big bootlegger, you know.”(Fit.114). Old rich people were educated and polite while the new rich were just looking for a good time.
Nick is the overseer in the novel, and shook by the pretentious of the upper class 's carelessness, causing him to desire to leave the East back to where he originally began. He witnesses innocent dreamers get crushed by the harshness of the world. The fallacies of America are utilized to depict the faults in the dreams of each character. In the end, death inevitably killed their endeavor to pursue the American
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).
An example of this is in the case of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. In his youth Jay Gatsby dreamed of having money, power, and high social status. Nick Carraway mentions in chapter six “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.” Gatsby had always seen himself being a rich man and after the death of his rich, high-class friend Don Cody, Gatsby did everything he could to achieve his American Dream. He
The American Dream had always been based on the idea that each person no matter who he or she is can become successful in life by his or her hard work. The dream also brought about the idea of a self-reliant man, a hard worker, making a successful living for him or herself. The Great Gatsby is about what happened to the American Dream in the 1920s, a time period when the many people with newfound wealth and the need to flaunt it had corrupted the dream. The pursuit of the American Dream is the one motivation for accomplishing one's goals, however when combined with wealth the dream becomes nothing more than selfishness. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the story, is one character that longs for the past.
Nonetheless, ruthlessly destroying the businesses and lives of many people merely for personal profit; Carnegie attained a level of dominance and wealth never before seen in American history, but was only able to obtain this through acts that were dishonest and oftentimes, illicit. Document D resentfully emphasizes the alleged capacity of the corrupt industrialists. In the picture illustrated, panic-stricken people pay acknowledgment to the lordly tycoons. Correlating to this political cartoon, in 1900, Carnegie was willing to sell his holdings of his company. During the time Morgan was manufacturing steel pipe tubing, Carnegie threatened to ruin him by invading his business if Morgan did not buy Carnegie out.
Even though many scholars believe that Fitzgerald is promoting the Dream, he is actually condemning it and what it stands for. This theme is used in conjunction with the motif of appearance versus reality to criticize further the “single green light, minute and far away” (25) that many Americans have strived for: financial success, fame, power and glory. Fitzgerald masterfully uses the character Gatsby to show the illusion that is the American Dream that, in reality, is an extremely corrupt and greedy practice during the extravagant and flagrant era of the 1920’s. Primarily, Fitzgerald uses Gatsby to show the corruption and the greed that consumes and destroys the followers of the Dream. When Gatsby realizes that he is not able to be with Daisy in his youth because of his social class, he decides to pave his own way by climbing to her social class.
This is the opposite idea of the American Dream, which states that only the good, virtuous and hard working are rewarded. Gatsby also lies his way through life to conceal his wrongdoing. Gatsby claims that he belongs to a rich family whom provides his way to Oxford and from whom he inherits his riches. “’I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West-all dead now.’” (Fitzgerald 65). Only later on in the novel, does Nick uncover the truth that “his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people...” (Fitzgerald 99).