The Great Gatsby: Thesis Paper

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November 28th, 2008. A man looks anxiously at the agitated crowd pressing harder and harder on the doors. The doors give way and the man holds up his hands as a final attempt to keep the crowd back. The front of the crowd pushes him aside but the rest of the crowd doesn’t know he’s there. The man’s fellow workers clamber and shove their way into the crowd to save him, but they too are trampled. The man dies of a broken neck, lung collapse, and head trauma. Two years later, people are bringing guns to toy stores in hopes of getting in line first, all to save 30% on items they don’t even need. The clearly defined reason behind this horrific event has become part of most Americans’ lives:the drive to acquire more stuff In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatz, a member of the lower class, exemplifies this intense desire for wealth and material goods. Although he only does this to impress the woman he loves, his story is a perfect way to summarize the birth of materialism. That driving force that causes Americans to want huge cars, huge houses, and tons of “stuff” to fill them with is the reason why so many Americans are in irreparable amounts of debt. Materialism, no longer restricted to a single class, is becoming the norm rather than the exception in America’s society today.

In the Roaring Twenties, the American dream changed from a goal of success, to an unrealistic level of happiness, brought on by advertising and the availability of “stuff.” “Stuff” (as in material goods not directly required for an enjoyable lifestyle) not only became available and was advertised, but began to be viewed as a necessity. People began to view the accumulation of material goods as a sign of fortune, and so they began to accumulate possessions until they felt they had enough. The amount of “stuff” that signified “enough” depended on the person or people that the American in question looked to in setting their materialistic goals. These “Model Americans” were usually members...
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