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The Fall Of The American Dream

Decent Essays
Kevin Cui
Ms. Conlon
CP English 11
20 September 2015
The Fall of The American Dream As the phenomenal politician Bernie Sanders once said, “For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.” In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by Scott Fitzgerald, the “American Dream” plays a crucial role in the plot. Gatsby devotes his life to accomplish his American Dream which consists of wealth and Daisy’s love. But is the American Dream actually what it seems to be? Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald utilizes the symbolic value of the Valley of Ashes, East Egg, and the significance of the color yellow to constantly establish that opulence and the American Dream is deceiving as it leads to moral and societal corruption.
East and West Egg are the
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Tom has been controlled by wealth ever since he was born into a rich family. Tom and Daisy’s negligence is what eradicates their morality. Their view of life is absurd which causes their foolish actions. Money is their leverage against society and the world. Tom also continues to show his licentiousness through his affair with Myrtle. When Tom and Myrtle first exchanged looks at the garage, Myrtle “walked through her husband as if he were a ghost, shook hands with Tom, looking him flush in the eye” (Fitzgerald 26). Tom then says, “I want to see you. Get on the next train” (Fitzgerald 26). Being already married to Daisy, Tom still decides to have relationships with other women, clearly indicating the his indecency. He acts as if what he is doing is acceptable because his possession of money provides him a sense of self-conceit. The upper class assumes that since they have money, they are able to do anything they want, whether it is ethical or not. Based on the events in East Egg, Fitzgerald is able to explicitly stress how wealth is one of the factors that intensifies moral decay in society.
One of the most important symbol that Fitzgerald presents is the Valley of Ashes. Introduced in chapter 2, the valley of ashes is portrayed as a dreary piece of land brimming with utter despair. It completely contradicts with the “American Dream” and West Egg, where opportunities are ubiquitous. As Nick states, “This is a valley of
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