An Idealized Reality
According to the American Dream, it is most ideal to come to America, find a job, and “strike it rich” pursuing what one loves most. Most hope that the money would make their dreams attainable. They draw the conclusion that money will ultimately give them prosperity both economically and in spirit. The idealization of money is what people aspire to attain--not the money itself. Those in pursuit of the American Dream often forget the realistic dangers of obtaining money in a short amount of time. However, the belief that achieving the American Dream will automatically gain eternal happiness is contrasted in Scott F. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Contrary to this belief, Fitzgerald conveys that wealth and materialism are ultimately superficial, unsustainable, and dangerous, therefore resulting in the devastation of oneself. In the novel, Daisy symbolizes everything Gatsby aspired to gain--wealth, status, and luxury; she is Gatsby’s idealization of affluence. When discussing Daisy as “the first ‘nice’ girl [Gatsby] had ever known,” (148) he ironically does not focus on Daisy as a person, but the riches that come with the idea of her. The paragraph begins with “She was the first ‘nice’ girl he had ever known,” but as the paragraph progresses, her home (and not her) is described with scintillating diction like “breathless intensity,” “beautiful,” and “gay and radiant” (148). In a paragraph that would be expected to discuss Daisy as a “nice” girl, Gatsby ironically speaks primarily of her home. The lively diction describing the house emphasizes its luxury and excessiveness--its superficial materialism. These judgments on Daisy’s home reflect not only the superficiality of the house but also of Gatsby and his shallow perspective. The syntax of the sentences describing her home are also excessive in length, therefore mimicking the flow of the house’s luxury. Furthermore, the closest thing to describing Daisy as a person would be when “It excited...
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