Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Dictionary. Com states that the definition of The American Dream is the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American. The idea is that every American can reach this “American Dream” with hard work. After World War 1, the stock market boomed, so ordinary people suddenly became rich. This created a barrier between “old money” and “new money. ” The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Is set among the huge, beautiful mansions of Long Island and depicts the hope and disillusionment Inspired by the dream of coming wealthy.
The Great Gatsby focuses on this Idea of the American Dream and the ways used to reach It. It’s what drives the characters throughout the book. So reaching the “American Dream” Is the theme I chose. When we think of the American Dream In The Great Gatsby and people who try to encompass It, we automatically think of Jay Gatsby. Throughout the book we find that Gatsby, formerly a poor boy, works hard to become rich and influential in order to impress his childhood sweetheart, Daisy Buchanan. He knew that while he was poor there was no hence of them ever uniting as a couple. L was popВ«, Gatsby had no money and he thought that Daisy tired of waiting around for me” (peg 131). Gatsby felt that the only way to win Daisy back was to reach for what many people had considered the “American Dream. ” “However glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was at present a penniless young man… Eventually he took Daisy one night-took her because he knew he had no real right to touch her hand” (peg 156). Gatsby lies and does illegal things to make his way to the top, such as bootlegging. He based his whole self-being n how much money he earned and the possessions he had.
He felt that with money came many other advantages to life. Gatsby constant parties also encompass the corruption of the American Dream. All these examples show how the desire for money and pleasure took over the true idea of the American Dream. Another example of a character who shows the corruption of the American Dream in Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle believes that she is of higher social status than what she really is. Ultimately, Myrtle was killed by chasing the thing she wanted most, the grander things in life. Myrtle had a very loyal husband, yet she was not satisfied.
Myrtle, who represents the low and ignorant class of America, tried to break the social barriers and pursue wealth by any means necessary. When at the party at Myrtle’s apartment, Nick observes that she “had changed her costume… And was now attired In an elaborate afternoon dress” (peg 35). This description of Myrtle captures her fastness. She was not being herself, but putting on an act to perform as an upper class lady. Another way to achieve her desire Is through her affair with Tom Buchanan, who represents the rich upper class.
This affair and connection with Tom represents the falseness In class distinction. These examples also show the corruptness of the American Dream. By the end of the book both characters died. Neither one of them died by natural causes, but they died a result of their unattainable dreams, their desire for the and the line between right and wrong was crossed by many people. Gatsby and Myrtle’s experiences in New York prove that the “American Dream” is not only a difficult goal to reach for, but is truly an impossible dream to achieve during this era of American life.