The Great Gatsby- Corruption of the American Dream

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Dey 1
Debangshu Dey
Mr. Pederson
25 May, 2010
“Are We Living the True American Dream?”
A Study of Various Factors which Proves the Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby The American Dream provides motivation for people to aim for a goal in life. Everyman has the right to seek his own happiness. A man strives to “be better and richer” in character. The American Dream is an ethical approach to life. James Adams highlights that “it is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order”(Adams).This is contradiction of the when materialism that was at its peak in the 1920’s.Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, highlights the moral decadence of the 1920’s which brought about the corruption of the American Dream. Fitzgerald suggests that modernization is making people neglect their humanity. Fitzgerald discusses the corruption of the American Dream through the motif of the living dead, the guests who attended Gatsby’s parties and the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg. In the first place, Fitzgerald constantly uses the motif of the living dead to indicate the corruption of the American Dream in 1920’s. The author satirizes the corruption of American Dream through certain characters in the novel as they are not striving to “attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable” and are recognized by others based on their “birth or position”(Adams) . Nick Carraway, the narrator, describes the inanimate objects in Tom’s living room as brimming with life: “A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains

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in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does in the sea” (Fitzgerald 8).This is the first instance in the novel where we see the living dead imagery pop up...
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