The Great Gatsby Distortion Of The American

The Great Gatsby: Distortion Of The American Dream Essay, Research Paper

The American Dream as it is Portrayed in The Great Gatsby

Picture this, a individual graduates from high school with awards, goes to college and alumnuss at the top of his/her category. After college, he/she is offered a occupation in the field he/she wants with an one-year wage of about $ 400,000 a twelvemonth. He/she marries the individual of his/her dreams, has two kids and moves into a big, elegant house. Forty old ages subsequently that individual retires with a pension and lives the remainder of his/her life in luxury. This is the American Dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald had this dream and worked his full life to carry through it, with no help. Fitzgerald was a sensitive immature adult male who idolized wealth and luxury. He fell in love with a beautiful immature adult female named Zelda while stationed at a military cantonment in the South. Several old ages after run intoing Zelda, he reached a high plenty societal criterion that she agreed to get married him. Shortly after the nuptials, Fitzgerald published his first large novel. He became a famous person and fell into a wild, foolhardy life style of parties and degeneracy. Fitzgerald thought he had achieved his dream. Unfortunately, his beautiful married woman was the first portion of his dream to crumple. In 1930, Zelda had her first of many mental dislocations. Soon after Zelda? s dislocations began, Fitzgerald published his fresh Tender is the Night. When this novel was non a success Fitzgerald besides started to hold mental jobs. When his novels started neglecting, he retreated to Hollywood where he began composing screenplays. On December 21, 1940, Fitzgerald died as a rummy in his lover? s Hollywood flat. Throughout his calling, Fitzgerald published many books, but The Great Gatsby is the 1 that became a authoritative. The 4th paragraph from Encarta? s Encyclopedia on F. Scott Fitzgerald best summarizes his novel:

Written in chip, concise prose and told by Nick Carraway, it is the narrative of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby becomes a moonshiner in order to achieve the wealth and munificent manner of life he feels are necessary to win the love of Daisy Buchanan, a married, upper-class adult female who had one time rejected him. The narrative ends tragically with Gatsby? s devastation. Although the storyteller finally denounces Daisy and others who confuse the American dream with the chase of wealth and power, he sympathizes with those similar Gatsby who pursue the dream for a redemptive terminal such as love.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald? s novel The Great Gatsby, the upper category? s sloppiness with their money, the myth that difficult work ever peers success, and the deficiency of true love in matrimony all show a deformation of the American Dream.

One would believe that people with money should cognize how to utilize it decently. Unfortunately this is non so of the upper category characters in The Great Gatsby. The following paragraph from the novel is an first-class illustration of how Gatsby wasted money on his upper category friends.

There was music from my neighbour? s house through the summer darks. In his blue gardens work forces and misss came and went like moths among the rustles and the bubbly and the stars. On Mondays eight retainers, including an excess nurseryman, toiled all twenty-four hours with swabs and scrubbing-brushes and cocks and garden-shears, mending the depredations of the dark before. ( Fitzgerald 89 )

The old quotation mark shows how Gatsby went through much convulsion merely to do it look as though he had adequate money to make as he wished. In the upper category, one individual would seek to surpass another by purchasing gifts that are more munificent and by throwing parties that are more excessive than their friends last one. Robert Douglass wrote an article in 1938 about society at that clip. In it, he described how people took so much for granted. The followers is an extract from his article:

The people populating in the small town have a richer life than their parents did. They can make a motion-picture theatre by a twenty-minute thrust, they have wirelesss, and they think nil of excursions to Atlantic City, Boston or Canada that many of the old occupants ne’er made in an full life-time. ( 19 )

As one can see, people throughout the Twentieth Century have thought nil of the modern twenty-four hours comfortss they now have. The same is still true in today? s society, but people seem to be more cognizant of luxuries than people of the? 20? s.

One of the largest and most talked about parts of the American Dream, is that when one enters the existent universe he/she will come in the work force as an employee in his/her desired calling. In this calling, he/she believes that if he/she works difficult, he/she will gain great success. Sadly, in the novel The Great Gatsby and in the 1920? s this is, and was about a myth. George Wilson is a mechanic, and in the novel it is ill-defined if that is what he ever wanted to be. For the interest of this paper, one can presume that being a machinist is his dream occupation. Unfortunately, George Wilson? s concern seems to be on the threshold of bankruptcy. One can besides presume that his concern has been like this for a long clip and that he and his married woman Myrtle have been salvaging every cent they earned merely to acquire by. The undermentioned quotation mark is from The Great Gatsby and it gives Nick Caraway? s position of George Wilson? s concern:

The inside was unprosperous and bare ; the lone auto visible was the dusty wreck of a Ford, which crouched, in a dim corner. The owner himself appeared in the door of an office, pass overing his custodies on a piece of waste. When he saw us a moist glow of hope sprang into his light bluish eyes. ( Fitzgerald 25 )

From the above quotation mark, one should detect the bleakness of the garage, and how eager George is, as he sees possible clients nearing. Although George does non have much concern from Tom Buchanan, he is really gracious to him. He believes Tom might direct his? rich? friends to go clients of his. Stanley Lebergott of Wesleyan University explains in the book, Americans: An Economic Record, the distribution of wealth in the 19


Those in the upper 5 per centum of the income distribution increased their portion of the national income. Labor? s portion of the national income did non lift at all, and workers suffered from unemployment. By deduction, so, the decennary differed small from earlier 1s ( 431 ) .

This shows why George Wilson and others like him remain in a slack and do non thrive in concern, whereas people like Tom Buchanan, have an addition in their annual net incomes. It about seems that the statement ; ? difficult work does non ever equal success? was a false statement in the 20? s. If a individual merely looks at the top five per centum of the income bracket, they may be right. However, if a individual were to look at the other 95 per centum, this individual would see that the statement is true. The lone manner anyone made money in the? 20s was by take parting in? speakeasies? or by? bootlegging? and both were illegal.

Another deformation of the American Dream in the novel is through matrimony. By and large, when people get married it is because they love one another, but in The Great Gatsby, the upper category? s nuptialss are chiefly for societal intents. In the upper category, nuptialss are similar to how high school seniors? brace up for prom, they make certain the Prom King and Prom Queen attend the Prom as a twosome. Seen as the? perfect? twosome, these two people compliment each other in every manner. In the novel, when Nick Caraway is sing his cousin Daisy and her hubby Tom Buchanan, it is obvious that they are non genuinely in love but they are married because their societal standings make them hone for one another. While Nick is sing, Daisy and Tom invite him to remain for dinner. While dinner is traveling on, Tom receives a telephone call. Daisy cognizing who it is becomes really disquieted and leaves the tabular array. It is so that Jordan Baker, another invitee, informs Nick about Tom? s matter. She tells Nick that, ? Tom? s got some adult female in New York? ( Fitzgerald 15 ) . Tom holding a kept woman in New York shows how unfaithful he is in matrimony. Adversely holding an matter was non uncommon in the? 20? s, cognizing this one can state that the ethical motives of the clip were non really strong. Shown in the film Night after Night, are the loose ethical motives of the 20? s.

The once-rich society flapper, with whom Raft falls in love, is roughed up by him and told that she is merely? another doll with a skirt on. ? The lone difference between her and a inexpensive miss is how she manicures her nails. ( Allen 87 )

Throughout the? 20? s, work forces used and disrespected many adult females because they felt they adult females were inferior. Womans have long since risen above this and can be really demanding of the regard that they deserve.

Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald is seeking to convey that there is more to life than one could perchance understand. He shows that non everyone can be successful, have a happy matrimony or even have adequate money to last in life. He is demoing that the American Dream is non come-at-able when one sets it as a dream, but if one sets it as the American Reality, it is possible. One should put realistic ends for life, non 1s that are about unachievable. Alternatively of wishing, to be like Bill Gates when one graduates college, one should put his/her ends to going an above norm worker. One should besides ne’er give up his/her ends once they are set. An illustration of ne’er giving up on your dreams/goals stated in the novel is: ? Gatsby believed in the green visible radiation, the orgiastic hereafter that twelvemonth by twelvemonth recedes before us. It eluded us so, but that is no affair? tomorrow we will run quicker, stretch out our weaponries male parent? And one mulct forenoon & # 8212 ; & # 8211 ; ? ( Fitzgerald 182 ) . Americans today still believe in the Dream to some extent. They believe that if they work hard and use all of their attempt, they can go a great success in life. However, today there is still a deformation of the American Dream. Everyday there is 1000s of matrimonies. These matrimonies are to typify the true love that two people show for each other. In matrimony, one promises to remain faithful and to stay with their spouse through all experiences. However, to counter the bonds of matrimony, there are 100s of divorces each twenty-four hours. Harmonizing to the Stepfamily Foundation, ? one out of two matrimonies ends in divorce. ? Another deformation of the Dream is peace. The undermentioned quotation mark comes from a trifle box in Russell Ash? s book The Top 10 of Everything 1997. ? There are states with worse slaying rates than the United States, but nowhere in the universe has every bit many slayings each twelvemonth? ( 68 ) . In 1997 there were about 24,000 slayings, giving the United States a slaying rate of nine slayings per 100,000 people. Still today, many people are under the feeling that the American Dream is unachievable. These people are right. The American Dream has ever been unachievable, therefore the word dream. If people would make an? American Reality? instead than an American Dream many of their ends could and would be accomplishable. Americans need to understand that non everyone can go a multi-millionaire overnight or even in their full life. They need to believe realistically and put their head on practical ends. Hopefully, one twenty-four hours, people will understand that impossible ends are impossible to make and that is why those ends are called the American Dream.

Allen, Frederick Lewis. Merely Yesterday An Informal History of the 1920s. New York: Harper & A ; Row, 1931: 87.

Ash, Russell. The Top 10 Of Everything 1997. New York: DK Publishing Inc. , 1996: 68

Douglass, Robert. ? For Granted? . New York Times, 5 March 1938:19

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1986: 18, 25, 89, 182

Lebergott, Stanley. The Americans An Economic Record. New York: W. W. Norton & A ; Company, 1984: 431.

Lofas, Jeannette. The Statistics are Staggering. N.P. Online. 7 Dec. .

Marc, David. ? Fitzgerald, F ( rancis ) Scott ( Key ) ? Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation: N.P.

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