August 16, 2012
AP Language and Composition
The American Dream: Corrupted or Purified
"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone... just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had" (2). Was a life lesson Nick Carraway's father always made sure that Nick carried in his heart throughout his entire life. For me, this quote hits close to home. When I was a young child, my grand mother explained to me the importance of accepting people for who they are and to never look down upon them just because they're different from me. I've carried that lesson with me throughout my whole life, and reading this novel made me realised that what Nick and I have in common, proves that our view on the American dream is innocent; we believe that it consits of freedom, self-reliance, and a desire for something greater. Unlike Nick, Gatsby's materialistic view on the American dream requires love, a high status, wealth, power, and expensive luxuries. After making his fantasy world into reality by bootlegging, to illegally sell liquor, he achieved his American dream, but later realises that he's missing one last piece to his puzzle; Daisy Fay. He once had that piece, but soon lost it after entering the Great War in 1914. After coming back to the United Stated after the war and graduating from Oxford in England, he finds out that his one love is married to another man and then believed that he must become wealthier in order to win her heart back, and he does this throughout the novel. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald exposes how badly corrupt a dream can become after achieving wealth and status.
Gatsby’s dream has become corrupted by the wealthy side of society that surrounds him. Gatsby's "nouveau riche" life has not readied himself for the snobby, selfish, and self-corrupt of people he later becomes connected to.