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The Great Gatsby portrays a time in American history where much of the nation wants nothing more than to find happiness through money and forget the horrors of the war. The people that come to Gatsby's parties rarely know him. They are searching for a fun night to help them forget about the war or their pointless lives, even if for only a few hours. Gatsby has no problem with this because he is only throwing parties as a means of meeting with his long lost love, Daisy. Daisy's dependence on men with wealth and status, and Gatsby's underhanded attempts at gaining it illustrate America's belief that money and extravagance are the easiest means of finding success and happiness. The following statement from page 149 strongly illustrates Gatsby's belief that his only means of captivating Daisy would be through deception. "He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her in under false pretenses. I don't mean that he had traded on his phantom millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe he was a person from much the same stratum as herselfthat he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilitieshe had no comfortable family standing behind him, and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government to blown anywhere about the world (p.
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The American Dream was not only different in the 20s than it was in the 30s, but it has continued to evolve and change up through today. Despite the differences in these dreams, there is a central core to all of them: the pursuit of happiness. In both of these books and much of the world today, people seek and dream of attaining utter happiness. For centuries, lots of people have been trying to obtain money, careers, success, and more. Although these dreams are separate from one another, they are all just a means by which people feel they may hopefully obtain their guttural dream of happiness. The question is when will people begin to realize that it is not these materialistic goals that will provide them with happiness, but rather things like humility, love, family, and religion? These are true sources of happiness and real answers to the American Dream.