The American Nightmare

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The American Nightmare
The idea that anyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic background can succeed through hard work is what is commonly referred to as the American Dream. This dream, regardless of whether it truly exists or not, is a pursuit of all Americans, and is what brings people from all four corners of the Earth to the United States of America. Most would view the desire to succeed and fulfill the “American Dream” as a valuable and praise worthy endeavor. Fitzgerald however, through his novel The Great Gatsby, reveals to us that the pursuit for success and fame is not necessarily a positive thing. As evidenced by The Great Gatsby, the American Dream is a corrupted ideal. It is a destructive endeavor, and does not bring true happiness or satisfaction.

In The Great Gatsby, the wealthy members of the East Egg, who have clearly accomplished the American Dream, are characterized as corrupt, self-centered individuals. The Buchanons, specifically, lack morality and any real form of consideration for other people. Tom Buchanon, the epitome of wealth and success, indulges in sinful shameful activities such as having extra-marital affairs. He does not even seem to truly love his girlfriend, Myrtle, and only sees the relationship as a fling, an escapade of self indulgence. Even his wife Daisy, after running over Myrtle with her car by accident, runs away from the scene, refusing to face the consequences. Since she has a wealthy husband to fall back on, Daisy feels a false sense of exemption from moral consequences. The members of the upper class, while they have seemingly achieved the American Dream, are failures as moral human beings, and lack any redeeming or noble qualities. They are selfish, and look upon the lower classes with disdain and disgust.

At the same time however, the lower class blindly pursues the wealth and success of the upper class while not realizing their demoralizing effects. They have a disillusioned concept of the...
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