Consumerism : The Great Gatsby, And Harrison Bergeron

1441 Words May 20th, 2015 6 Pages
Consumerism is defined as the increase in the consumption of goods. It is the theory that buying more goods will ultimately lead to economic advantages. Consumerism has destroyed the concept of the idealistic nuclear family in America, in favor of materialistic chaos. American society used to be content with the little things in life, up until the rise of consumerism, starting during the industrial revolution, but reaching its peak after World War II. Americans have become more occupied with the quantity of materials, rather than the quality of materials they already possess. In a way, consumerism has become a type of “social disease” (Etzioni 1), resulting in the destruction of the nuclear family stereotype. It has taken over the lives of members of the American society and brainwashed them into continuously buying more goods and thinking that spending money is the best way to show appreciation for their family. Literary works, such as Black Boy, The Great Gatsby, and “Harrison Bergeron,” provide insight to how American consumerism has changed over the years and the outcome of this consumerist society. Before the rise of consumerism, American society had a different ambiance. People found joy in the little things; anything they were able to get their hands on was a blessing. They didn’t have the materialistic desires that many possess now. They embodied the stereotype of the idealistic nuclear family. In the early to mid-twentieth century, people didn’t have the money…

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