The Decay of American Dream in The Great Gatsby

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The Decay of American Dream in The Great Gatsby The American Dream is a worldwide known idiom and it emphasizes an ideal of a successful and happy lifestyle which is oftentimes symbolized by the phrase “from rags-to-riches”. It originated out of the ideal of equality, freedom and opportunity that is held to every American. In the last couple of decades the main idea of the American Dream has shifted to becoming a dream in which materialistic values are of a higher importance and status. The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925 during the “Jazz Age”. Jay Gatsby is a parvenu who worked himself his way up. He is the main character and he has a quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan and he has a need for…show more content…
One of the major topics that can be explored in The Great Gatsby is the sociology of wealth. Fitzgerald uses physical location – setting- as a sort of short-hand for the various aspects of American society he wants us to care about. West Egg represents the newly wealthy, the gaudy and improper; East Egg represents the moral hollowness of old wealth, prim and proper but corrupt. New York stands for the pursuit of pleasure, while the Valley of Ashes represents the social and moral decay that has resulted from the unfettered greed and gluttony of society’s uber-rich. Gatsby was not ready and prepared for the corrupt world when he joined West Egg. He is constantly surrounded by evidence of the unhappiness that success can bring. Daisy and Tom’s marriage is an example for this symptom. It is full of deceit and lies and they are both looking for something different and greater. Gatsby is blinded by the fact that money cannot buy love. Therefore, there is a reason it is said that “money cannot buy happiness” - not that rich people aren’t still going to try in Fitzgerald’s novel. As a result, money is not everything, but for certain people it seems like materialism is. Daisy chose money over love when she chose to marry Tom over waiting for Gatsby. She ends up with a cheating husband and with all the money in the world, but no real happiness or sense of fulfillment. Her attempt to find happiness in her material possessions is typical for such
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