The Failure of the American Dream in the Great Gatsby Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

The American dream is an ideology which defined America at the start of the twentieth century. It was the idea that everybody need to reach success without regarding their social status. The dream was based on America’s statement of self-reliance which said that “all men are created equal”. This implies that everybody ought to have the possibility to get rich and individuals ought to earn thanks to their ability to do things and not due to the fact that of their name.

Social status is one of the most essential topics in “the Great Gatsby”. It is shown firstly by the different places in which the characters live(East egg-West egg-valley of ashes), by the cash they toss around and to what extent they can pass over the law. As it is also said in the book, one’s richness can be understood by the things you talk about. The book is the example of how people praise materialism.

It shows that cash has no values, the big space between abundant and bad which in a society like the among the early years of the twentieth century people could prosper only by breaking the law … It can for that reason be stated that the failure of the American dream consists in the truth that money becomes the only thing individuals think of and updating their social status is their main goal that dominates over every moral they have.

The American dream can be for that reason be an increase to strive and attempt one’s best in succeeding in life and in finding what makes us happy, which mustn’t necessarily be ending up being incredibly rich. The book reveals how the dream was wrongly translated by the American population. In reality, it was brought to the country by the American settlers. They didn’t mean that a person’s function in life should be richness and power, however settling in the society and live a sincere and simple life with their household.

In the book, Fitzgerald inserted examples of all the social classes, from the incredibly rich to the well off people finishing with the poor who lived in the suburbs. The two characters that primarily characterize the search of the American dream in the book, are Myrtle and Gatsby. Myrtle lets Tom, her rich affair, push her around because her only dream is richness and being with him gives her a feeling of power and aristocracy.

She would rather be treated like dirt and be the servant of a rich lover instead of being cared or lovingly by a poor husband. He primary aim and hope is to marry Tom so that she would never again have to worry about money and her every desire would be fulfilled. This shows how people would give up their dignity just to have the chance to throw money around on superfluous stuff. The other character which symbolizes and is living the dream is Jay Gatsby. The difference between him and Myrtle is the fact that he is immensely rich. He succeeded in making a fortune on the forbidden selling of alcohol, tricking people and doing other illegal deeds.

He is also very influential and has some power in the city making him immune to the police, for example. The difference between him and Tom though is where the money comes from. Even if Gatsby is very rich and important, his money is “new and dirty” , while Tom’s is “old money” inherited by his family. This is why, even having the same wealth, Tom will always be socially superior to him and Daisy chooses to remain with him because of it. This shows that the important is not having infinite sums of money, but attaining it honestly.

At first impact Gatsby seems an arrogant and materialistic man with no values or sense of honor, at the end of the book, it is understood that he really is a good man who did the wrong things for a worthy reason, winning back the heart of his long lost love Diasy, Tom’s wife. It is for her that he started his criminal business, convinced that money would bring her back to him, since she hadn’t married him years before, influenced by his poorness.

In fact, at the time, it was said that “rich girls don’t marry poor boys”. Gatsby succeeds in meeting her and they start having an affair, unfortunately she doesn’t have the heart to leave her husband because of his name and backround, even if the love between her and Gatsby is true. Gatsby is so much in love, that he dies for the sake of protecting a woman who isn’t even nearly as perfect as he thinks, but of course “no amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart”.

This book shows that money is not the key for happiness and that life’s point is not spending it. Tom and Daisy are immensely rich and have all they could possibly imagine, however they are not satisfied with their lives and are in constant seek of happiness. Tom tries to give some spice to his life having constant and Daisy hangs around all day like a puppet trying not to think about her life. Gatsby has all the money he always dreamt of but is sad since can’t have the woman he wants.

Myrtle is so attached to money that can’t appreciate the great thing that she has, which is what both Gatsby and Daisy want, someone who loves them. After reading the book it is understood that the American dream is unobtainable and therefore just a dream. Dreams give life a purpose and the reason for which to work hard and, even if everything might turn out well, life will never be as beautiful as we had dreamt it. This is why one should be content with his life when he obtains happiness and when sure of having given it his best shot


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