Comparing the Perversion of Values in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

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Perversion of Values in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

Throughout History there are many examples of perversions, from sexual, social to the very morals themselves. One of the greatest examples is the continuous corruption of the American Dream. As the Dream evolves, it tends to conform to the illicit dealings of the time and immortals of society. No longer is an individual interested in working hard to achieve goals, it is desirous of the quick fix. Society wants its wishes and wants them now. This social attitude is thoroughly explored in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and by Arthur Miller in his Death of a Salesman. As the instantaneous achievement becomes more valued it gives rise to the lie, the
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So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.

The above quote found on page 170 in the Great Gatsby clearly shows the invention of the lie. Gatsby created a fantasy world, which he revolved his life around. Gatsby created the illusion, and then proceeded to lie to himself and everyone around him. However, Gatsby's continuous fib backfires, as the evolving stories get circulated and result in rumors, "I've put it down here with the idea of exploding those first wild rumors about his antecedents, which weren't even faintly true." (Fitzgerald 120) Instead of making Gatsby's past more real, the lie resulted in an obstruction of his dream to fit in with society.

The results of the lie were similar in the Death of a salesman. Willy Loman lie about his success and distorts his job performance. Willy lies that he is "Vital in New England." (Miller 16), which is obviously not true. Unlike Gatsby who lies about his past, Willy tells falsehoods about his accomplishments. "I did five hundred gross in Boston ... Well, I - I did - about a hundred and eighty gross in Providence. Well, no - it came to - roughly two hundred gross on the whole trip." (Miller 35) Willy lives in a…