Essay On The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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The 1920’s oversaw economic prosperity with greater activity in the stock market and overall consumer confidence. In fact, it soared sky high like the skyscrapers that, with an abundance of new investment, turned America’s pastures into urban jungles. During the 1920’s, many believed in the American Dream and that anyone from anywhere could become successful in America by climbing the social ladder. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author portrays the American Dream as something dead that cannot be revived. The main character of The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, embodies the American Dream in his seemingly successful rise in West Egg which ultimately leads to his demise.. Gatsby comes from the Midwest and born into a poor farming…show more content…
Nick grows up in the Midwest and decides “to go East and learn the bond business”(Fitzgerald chapter 1). Nick does not engage in the same illegal methods as Gatsby. However, Nick does witness many tragedies throughout his time in the East such as the death of Myrtle Wilson and Gatsby. Nick comments on Tom and Daisy’s lifestyle as careless and they “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money” (Fitzgerald 133) and “let other people clean up the mess they had made”(Fitzgerald 133). Nick believes that although Tom and Daisy have money and, according to the generic definition have achieved the American Dream, they have lost their manners and morals. Fitzgerald, through Nick, criticizes the American Dream through the “use of oxymoron and hyperbole as proof of Fitzgerald’s cultural critique”( Page 2). One example of the use of this language is when Nick describes Tom and Daisy as “two old friends whom [he] scarcely knew at all” (Fitzgerald 11). Although Nick attended college with Tom and shares family heritage with Daisy, he still does not believe he knows them well. Ultimately, Nick accomplishes monetary success, but notices how money corrupts some people’s morals and clouds his understanding of some of his closest

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