The Great Gatsby : The Detterioration Of The American Dream

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The Deterioration of the American Dream The American Dream is defined as “a life of happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.”. This definition is reinforced by the character’s lifestyles in The Great Gatsby. Their goals are to achieve money, popularity, and power but through the novel their goals fall apart. Each person has characteristics of the American Dream in their lives but as the novel continues they lose these characteristics. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the main theme is the deterioration of the American Dream in the lives of the characters. First, The Great Gatsby operates on a skewed version of the American Dream. The American Dream ideals that are presented in The Great Gatsby are different than the ideals that made up the American Dream in the first place. The original ideals were that with hard work and determination even the poorest American could achieve success. However, “The Great Gatsby is an exploration of the American Dream as it exists in a corrupt period” (Bewley 265). The corruption of the American Dream is shown by the way people are trying to achieve it. They are willing to lie, cheat, and do whatever is necessary to get what they desire. Instead of working hard and achieving success, the characters want money, popularity, and power handed to them. They choose to not work hard for their success. Because of the characters’ need for money, popularity, and power, the first

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