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Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby


The Failed American Dream The American dream is a myth that Americans continue struggling to achieve better lives but they never achieve. In the Great Gatsby, every character struggles to better their lives and attain happiness. The writer divides the characters into two groups of the rich and the poor and shows how the main characters try to better their lives but all in vain. The Great Gatsby shows how people are corrupted by limitless freedom.

Tom and Buchanan are rich and have everything but the want more and more wealth (Fitzgerald 11). Tom is unfaithful since he has an affair with Myrtle. On the other hand, Daisy has an affair with Gatsby and she knows that Tom has an affair too but does not leave him because he has money. Daisy and Tom present the American dream due to their pursuit of wealth and prosperity but live empty lives without purpose. Myrtle belongs to lower in the society, and she desires to belong to the higher class of the society, hence tries to imitate Tom, and ends up being unsatisfied with her life and eventually dies. She dies as a victim of a class she wanted to join. The writer says, “With the influence of the dress her whole personality had also undergone a change. The intense vitality was converted into impressive hauteur” (Fitzgerald 35). She is destroyed by the American dream of trying to be people that she isn’t.

For a long time, Gatsby has the impression that Daisy is the right kind of woman. He is very motivated to have her and he says, “no amount of fire or freshness can challenge what man will store up in his ghostly heart” (Fitzgerald 99). However, after being with her, he realizes that she is not the kind of person he thought. Gatsby is, however, not accepted by the higher class when Daisy refuses to marry him, and this represents a failed American dream. In conclusion, Fitzgerald shows the ready that the failure of the American dream is unavoidable since nothing is perfect. The dreams of the characters are destroyed regardless of their money, power or material status.

Works cited
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 2003. Print.

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