Failed by the American Dream

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  • Topic: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby
  • Pages : 2 (635 words )
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  • Published : June 12, 2011
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Failed by the American Dream
The American Dream has raised many hopes and crushed those hopes just as easily. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the theme of the novel is the withering of the American Dream. This withering of the American Dream affects the choices people make, the actions those people take, and defiles the overall morality of society.

The individual’s choices are changed because of the American Dream. In the beginning, this change in choice is seen in the very first chapter where Nick, the narrator, decides to leave home and “…go east and learn the bond business.” (7) This evidence of choice affected by the American Dream comes before the main points of interpretations. Readers can interpret from this that the American Dream affects people before any significant events such as the events in The Great Gatsby befalls them. Also, Gatsby as well falls under the influence of the American Dream during his youth he decides to take Daisy as his own “…committed himself to the following of a grail.” (156) Daisy is the essence of wealth and that is similar to attaining the American Dream itself. Daisy’s essence of wealth attracts Gatsby, changing his desire into a greater one affecting what he chooses. The American Dream affects people’s choices and their actions.

The desire to attain the American Dream forces people to act out horrible and morbid deeds. One example, Myrtle commits adultery with Tom because he was her “…first sweetie she ever had.” (39) Myrtle’s desire to have something that she is not permitted to have is similar to the American ideal to acquire personal happiness. This desire causes Myrtle to act out a horrible sin showing how fearsome the corruption of the American Dream is. Another example, Gatsby acquired his money from doing illegal actions such as, in his past he “…sold grain alcohol over the counter.” (141) Gatsby’s ignorance to his foul crime shows how tainted his dreams have become. Gatsby’s goal of attaining Daisy...
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