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

1008 Words 5 Pages
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 rudeness of Tom, an upper class man, towards a lower class such as Winston to display the fragileness of this dream. Tom’s conversation that is, “‘Let’s have some gas!’ cried Tom roughly. ‘What do you think we stopped for — to admire the view?’ ‘I’m sick,’ said Wilson” demonstrates that there is no equality for all, as originally desired in the American dream (123). This disrespect demonstrates the view of the upper class on the lower class. Tom believes that Wilson is below him, and treats him as if he is a worthless dog. Wilson is treated like a worthless dog when Tom insultingly demands him to put gas in the car. On top of that, Tom has an affair with his wife, which is perhaps why he does not feel well. The fact that his wife is cheating on…