American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay examples

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Founding father Benjamin Franklin described the American dream as the “pursuit of a better existence… a higher quality of life through hard work, determination, and devotion” (Benjamin Franklin). The American dream is an idea that if you work hard, you can rise from “rags to riches” and live a wealthy and prosperous life with moral values of respect and integrity. Ironically, Franklin’s version of the dream was decaying during the roaring 1920s when society became corrupt and obsessed with greed. In his classic book, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald shows how the American dream of “hard work, determination, and devotion” was deteriorating because society had become greedy and materialistic. In addition, moral values were in decline and that…show more content…
She talks about the “lower orders” as through she does not belong to it (Fitzgerald 69). In addition to her hatred for poor, she cheats on her husband and tells him that she is going to see her sister Catherine when she is actually visiting Tom Buchanan. Both Tom and Myrtle contribute to the decline of the Franklin’s vision because they don’t present “devotion” in their relationships but rather cheat on their partners. Although Tom Buchannan doesn’t represent Franklin’s version of hard work, his college friend, Nick Carraway does. Nick is not lazy nor relies on family wealth. He comes to New York to learn about the bond business and work hard to earn money himself rather than depend on his family’s wealth. In addition, Carraway is one of those people who have “ a sense of the fundamental decencies” (Fitzgerald 2). Overall, unlike Tom, Carraway exhibits respect and admiration for others regardless of their social status. Like Tom Buchannan, Gatsby, a son of poor farmer contributes to the decline of Franklin’s vision because he believes that money can solves all of his problems. Instead of achieving his wealth by “hard work, determination, and devotion,” Gatsby earns his wealth from doing illegal work. For example, “[Gatsby] and this Wolfshiem brought up a lot of side – street drug – stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter” (Fitzgerald 110). Gatsby, whose
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