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A Selfish Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitgerald Essay

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Originally, the American dream for the first settlers was for their children, and they would sacrifice everything for freedom of religion, and thought. Although, the American dream in the 1920’s is to live in happiness through financial and social success. For many, this selfish dream is achieved through illegal activity such as bootlegging, and gambling. This dream is mirrored in many novels such as The Great Gatsby. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Gatsby’s demise to highlight both the fragility of, and un-attainableness of the American dream in the 1920’s. The views of Tom Buchanan and people of the valley of ashes such as Wilson, reveal the fragile emptiness of the American dream in the 1920’s. Fitzgerald uses the…show more content…
This is because yellow is a symbol of gold, or wealth, and Eckleburg looks through it. Eckleburg having no face represents the emptiness, or hollowness of people and how their values are shallow. Billboards usually have advertisements in order to sell something. Since Eckleburg is on a billboard, it indicates how the American dream for people in the 1920’s is materialistic. The selfishness of the American dream in the 1920’s is presented through Gatsby’s flaunt, and strive for wealth. Gatsby throwing all his expensive looking shirts into a pile demonstrates his flaunting of wealth. When he “took out a pile shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, … the soft rich heap mounted higher”, he is bragging about his wealth to Daisy, his one way ticket to the American dream (92). All of these expensive looking shirts make him look wealthier than he really is. For instance, the class looking flannel is a soft-woven fabric typically made of wool or cotton, and is very inexpensive. Gatsby wants to boast about his wealth to Daisy so she can see that he does have lots of money, and they can get back together. Daisy’s voice is full of money, and is a symbol of old money. If Gatsby can get Daisy, then he can be completely accepted as high class and ultimately achieve his American dream,
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