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The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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After World War I, America offered the potential for boundless financial and social opportunities for those willing to work hard—an American Dream. The American Dream is defined as someone starting low on the economic or social level, and working hard towards prosperity and or wealth and fame. Establishing fame, becoming wealthy, having lavish luxuries, and a happy family would come to symbolize this dream. For some, however, striving for and realizing that dream ruined them, as many acquired wealth only to pursue pleasure. Even though the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby appear to relish the freedom of the 1920s, their lives demonstrate the emptiness that results when wealth and pleasure become ends in themselves. Specifically, the empty lives of three characters from this novel— George Wilson, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan—show that chasing hollow dreams results only in misery.

Myrtle Wilson is one of the characters who chases empty dreams. She has a strong desire to escape what she feels to be a lower class lifestyle and enter the ranks of the upper class. Furthermore, she is obsessed by appearances and unaware of realities, as is shown in her excessive concern of clothing. She attempts to impress the upper society while looking down upon the members of her class. "Myrtle raised her eyebrows in despair at the stiflessness of the lower orders, “These people! You have to keep after them." (Fitzgerald 36)

Myrtle is married to George Wilson, a poor
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