The Great Gatsby: The Corruption of the American Dream Essay

The Great Gatsby: The Corruption of the American Dream Essay

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In 1931 James Truslow Adams published a book named ‘Epic of America’ in which he popularized the concept of The American Dream. In this book he stated “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…” and once that phrase was written, The American Dream became what we truly know it as nowadays. It is the right of freedom, prosperity, equality and pursuit of happiness through hard work. However, The American Dream is an ironic concept seeing as it never seems fully attainable. Although it is supposed to represent independence, liberty and the ability to make something of one’s self, most people nowadays find themselves indulged in materialism whilst pursuing it- consequently forgetting their origins and never achieving the true notion of the American Dream. This can be seen clearly in F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ where there are a variety of characters that are living or seeking The American Dream. Whether it was Daisy and Tom Buchanan who were supposedly living the perfect lifestyle, Jay Gatsby who found himself submerged in money and always throwing parties for the higher class population of New York as well as Daisy, or Myrtle Wilson who throughout the novel seeked to be a high class woman, they all ended up unhappy or lost their own lives as a consequence.

Jay Gatsby was a self-made millionaire who followed the tale of ‘rags to riches’, however he was blinded by his possessions and became corrupted by his need to acquire wealth, in the genuine hope of it bringing him happiness and having his love for Daisy Buchanan reciprocated. In the novel he is what would classify as ‘new money’...


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...g a critique of the materialism in the culture which we live in, and although in the novel it is to a greater extent it still portrays the corruption in an individual when we are provided with money and fortune. Those who have wealth and the supposed ‘American Dream’, seek more and are not content- aswell as those who aren’t wealthy, seek fortune and the American Dream. The corruption has many effects on the character given at hand: hollowness, infidelity, disillusionment. It changes their hopes and dreams, and thus The American Dream is never truly attainable for you will always seek that little bit more.



Works Cited

“The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald – Published 10 April 1925
http://thegreatgatsbyandm.blogspot.com
http://www.ovtg.de/3_arbeit/englisch/gatsby/dream.hmtl
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gatsby/themes.html
http://www.unc.edu/~jwladyb/Gatsby.pdf

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