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What Were The Consequences And Effects Of The American Dream? American Literature Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

Shil​ ​1
Nidhi​ ​Shil
Ms​ ​Thomas
American​ ​Literature
6th​ ​October​ ​2017
The​ ​American​ ​Nightmare
The​ ​novel​ ​​The​ ​Great​ ​Gatsby​​ ​written​ ​by​ ​F.​ ​Scott​ ​Fitzgerald​ ​appears​ ​to​ ​be​ ​about​ ​a​ ​tragic
love​ ​story​ ​set​ ​in​ ​the​ ​1920’s​ ​which​ ​was​ ​the​ ​prime​ ​period​ ​of​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream.​ ​However​ ​the
expectations​ ​of​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​were​ ​deeply​ ​deceiving​ ​and​ ​those​ ​who​ ​got​ ​caught​ ​up​ ​in​ ​it
often​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​regretting​ ​it,​ ​instance​ ​Jay​ ​Gatsby,​ ​Daisy​ ​Buchanan​ ​and​ ​Tom​ ​Buchanan.​ ​The
identities​ ​and​ ​relationships​ ​of​ ​the​ ​characters​ ​represent​ ​the​ ​hopes​ ​and​ ​the​ ​downfall​ ​of​ ​the
American​ ​dream.
Jay​ ​Gatsby​ ​represents​ ​the​ ​belief​ ​which​ ​people​ ​had​ ​in​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​and​ ​the
struggle​ ​they​ ​had​ ​to​ ​go​ ​through​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​achieve​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​created​ ​an​ ​illusion
that​ ​being​ ​wealthy​ ​meant​ ​you​ ​were​ ​desirable​ ​and​ ​that​ ​everybody​ ​would​ ​want​ ​to​ ​associate​ ​with
you.​ ​Gatsby​ ​is​ ​a​ ​victim​ ​to​ ​this​ ​illusion.​ ​He​ ​believes​ ​that​ ​money,​ ​a​ ​big​ ​house​ ​and​ ​grand​ ​parties
will​ ​be​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​win​ ​the​ ​love​ ​of​ ​Daisy​ ​and​ ​get​ ​her​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​her​ ​husband.​ ​When​ ​Gatsby​ ​was​ ​a
soldier​ ​he​ ​could​ ​not​ ​have​ ​cared​ ​less​ ​about​ ​money​ ​and​ ​materialistic​ ​things.​ ​However​ ​once​ ​he
discovered​ ​that​ ​Daisy​ ​was​ ​married​ ​to​ ​Tom,​ ​Gatsby​ ​made​ ​it​ ​his​ ​mission​ ​to​ ​outdo​ ​him.​ ​Gatsby​ ​is
constantly​ ​chasing​ ​this​ ​dream​ ​however​ ​it​ ​is​ ​continuously​ ​out​ ​of​ ​his​ ​grasp.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​represented​ ​by
the​ ​green​ ​light​ ​which​ ​“burns​ ​all​ ​night”​ ​(118)​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​Daisy’s​ ​dock.​ ​The​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​the​ ​light
​ ​Shil​ ​2
burns​ ​all​ ​night​ ​symbolises​ ​Gatsby’s​ ​drive​ ​and​ ​determination​ ​to​ ​win​ ​Daisy​ ​hasn’t​ ​been
extinguished.​ ​His​ ​passion​ ​for​ ​her​ ​is​ ​continuously​ ​burning.​ ​Gatsby​ ​goes​ ​to​ ​drastic​ ​lengths​ ​in​ ​​ ​an
attempt​ ​to​ ​win​ ​Daisy,​ ​he​ ​partakes​ ​in​ ​illegal​ ​bootlegging​ ​to​ ​acquire​ ​his​ ​fortune​ ​which​ ​caused​ ​a
“foul​ ​dust​ ​to​ ​float​ ​in​ ​the​ ​wake​ ​of​ ​his​ ​dreams”​ ​(2).​ ​​ ​The​ ​illusion​ ​of​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​killed​ ​the
innocence​ ​of​ ​Gatsby’s​ ​dream.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​so​ ​obsessed​ ​with​ ​achieving​ ​it​ ​that​ ​he​ ​got​ ​himself​ ​caught​ ​up
in​ ​corruption​ ​and​ ​criminal​ ​activity.​ ​​ ​Throughout​ ​the​ ​novel​ ​Fitzgerald​ ​uses​ ​delayed​ ​character
revelation​ ​in​ ​relation​ ​to​ ​Gatsby​ ​to​ ​emphasise​ ​how​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​slowly​ ​creeped​ ​up​ ​on
people​ ​and​ ​then​ ​slowly​ ​began​ ​to​ ​crumble.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​end​ ​Gatsby’s​ ​passion,​ ​grit​ ​and​ ​persistence​ ​whilst
chasing​ ​the​ ​American​ ​dream​ ​ultimately​ ​got​ ​him​ ​killed.
Daisy​ ​Buchanan​ ​represents​ ​the​ ​exterior​ ​innocence​ ​and​ ​the​ ​interior​ ​corruption​...

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