F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - A Tarnished American Dream

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The Great Gatsby: A Tarnished American Dream

Thesis: In his influential book The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald recognizes and describes many of the less alluring characteristics of the 1920's and the pursuit of the American Dream including dysfunctional relationships, materialism and classism.

The American dream states that people can work themselves up "from rags to riches" by hard work.1 For this reason, the new society has developed dreams of the blind pursuit of material, wealth, and economic success. F. Scott Fitzgerald realizes this big change in society, and considering the fact that he is a fighter for the old values, this novelist tries to warn people not to continue this wrong way. The ideal
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Some of these people look for a more luxurious life, while others just marry for convenience. For instance, Myrtle Wilson holds an extramarital relationship with Tom Buchanan, for he can provide her with luxuries that her own husband cannot afford, and both Tom and Myrtle make Wilson appear like a fool, because "he thinks she goes to see her sister in New York" (Fitzgerald, 30), while Myrtle is actually going to meet with her lover, whom she regrets marrying. Actually, she even expresses inconformity with their marriage, for "The only crazy I [Myrtle] was when I married him [George]. I knew right away I made a mistake." (Fitzgerald, 41) In addition, carelessness is also present when Daisy's attitude makes Gatsby believe that she will wait for him until he comes back from war. However, she marries Tom "because I [Gatsby] was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!" (Fitzgerald, 137) People who get married for interest, like Daisy did when she got married to Tom, prove the carelessness existing in the 1920's in American society when dealing with relationships. Another proof of carelessness for the person, with whom they hold a relationship with, is Tom and Myrtle's