The American Dream
19 April 2012
Deceit in America
To some people, the American Dream is power, wealth, fame, and influence. Most with this dream are willing to do almost anything to achieve these things, but there have been many times where “willing to do anything” has been taken too far. There have been Presidents, celebrities, and just everyday average people that have lied and deceived others to make sure that nothing comes between them and their dream. Lies and deceit ruin lives, and destroy the American Dream. One example of lies and deceit in literature can be found in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby. In the book, many of characters lie and deceive as a way of life. Some of the deceit leads to the ruin of several characters, ruin that could have been avoided if they if they had been more honest in their daily lives. Fitzgerald shows us how dangerous a lifestyle like this can be by showing the ultimate downfall of the characters who live this way. Tom Buchanan, one of the main characters, is a pompous, prideful man who also proves to be quite deceptive. Throughout the book Tom cheats on his wife, Daisy Buchanan, with another married woman, Myrtle Wilson. While Daisy may suspect or been told about it by others, Tom has not come out and been truthful with Daisy about his affair or perhaps the reason behind the affair. Tom also lies in more minor ways, but this is still an example of his deceptive nature. For example, he says that his wife Daisy is a Catholic, “Daisy was not a Catholic and I was a little shocked by the elaborateness of the lie” (Fitzgerald pg.38). Tom’s lies have a lasting, damaging effect on both his and Daisy’s lives and everyone else’s lives around them. As a result of Tom’s lies, three people lose their lives. The dreams of these characters were destroyed. If Tom hadn’t been deceitful, they most likely would have continued to live out their dreams without any problem.
Cited: Condon, Stephanie. "Monica Lewinsky Says Bill Clinton Lied Under Oath." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5992393-503544.html>. "Digital History." Digital History. Web. 10 Apr. 2012. <http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=391>. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1996. Print.