Great Gatsby: Corrupion of American Dream

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The Great Gatsby: Corruption of the American Dream
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrates how the desire for money and materialism compels the American dream to decay. Fitzgerald uses Tom and Daisy’s daughter, Gatsby’s bootlegging, and the sin of adultery to show the downfall of ideals during this time period. The Great Gatsby examines the collapse of society’s morals and values in their attempt to try and pursue the American dream. The ideal American family typically includes, at the very least, one child; however, Daisy shows that a child is merely treated like a trophy rather than someone to love and nurture. She conceals her daughter, Pammy, so well that upon her meeting with Gatsby, Pammy’s existence seems surreal, resembling a figment of his imagination. “Gatsby and I in turn leaned down and took the small reluctant hand. Afterward he kept looking at the child with surprise. I don’t think he had ever really believed in its existence before” (123). Daisy also displays selfishness in her behavior towards Pammy. The idea that her daughter may look more like Tom than herself agitates her to the point where she ignores Pammy as she questions the whereabouts of her father. “‘Where’s Daddy?’ ‘She doesn’t look like her father,’ explained Daisy, ‘She looks like me. She’s got my hair and shape of the face’” (123). This shows how Daisy is ashamed to have Pammy be associated with Tom in any way. Daisy’s feeling of resentment toward Tom resulted from his lack of responsibility, as he did not attend the birth of his own daughter. Daisy sees this as Tom not being fully committed the father or husband role, and as a result, he further corrupts the American dream. Tom’s recklessness continues to be displayed throughout The Great Gatsby as an affair between him and Myrtle advances the destruction of the American dream. Tom’s view of Myrtle is strikingly similar to Daisy’s view of Pammy. Myrtle resembles an object to Tom,...
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