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The American Dream "The Great Gatsby"

515 words - 3 pages

Everybody has a concept of "The American Dream". Merriam-Webster's definition is: an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity. To achieve the American Dream, a person should have money, upward mobility, cars, be married with the perfect average of 2.5 kids, and freedom. The person should be a hard working and self-made man to deserve what he has strived for.In "The Great Gatsby", by F. Scott Fitzgerald, most of the characters don't achieve the American Dream. If Gatsby and Nick are part of the Nouveau Riche, does that make them hard working and ...view middle of the document...

Tom secretly has an affair with Myrtle, married to George, while Gatsby is trying to grasp Daisy's attention, which again, is married to Tom.George doesn't achieve the American Dream because he lives in the Valley of Ashes and doesn't have the American style "white picket fence". "He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He's so dumb he doesn't know he's alive." (30) Tom tells Nick that George is clueless about his affair with Myrtle. Gatsby has corrupted the idea of the American dream by going too far to impress Daisy when she merely isn't interested. Myrtle on the other hand, is upset that her husband isn't rich and therefore she is magnetized to Tom. Isn't the American Dream supposed to be something that makes you happy? Daisy wants a family structured man, Tom, even though he is cheating on her, while Gatsby is the opposite. "I hope she'll be a fool - that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." (21) Daisy tells Nick what she said when her daughter was born. She wants her daughter to be a "fool" so that she won't understand and be hurt if her husband mistreats her or is disloyal to her. The American Dream is a goal, or a plan, to have a perfect spouse, children, home, life. The characters in this book wish that they had that, but don't try hard enough to get it.

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