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The Great Gatsby, so, is a perfect example of the decay of the American Dream.

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Introduction

Anna Paola Soliani IB Oral Presentation The 1920's were a decade of renaissance characterized by the establishment of the "American Dream" that is, the belief that anyone can, and should, achieve material success. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, contains themes and morals that continue to be relevant today. In his novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American Dream by describing its negative characteristics: class struggles between the rich and the poor, the superficiality of the rich, and the false relationship between money and happiness. Furthermore, the main character also serves as a metaphor for the inevitable downfall of American Dream. The Great Gatsby, so, is a perfect example of the decay of the American Dream. In the novel, Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse into the life of the high class during the roaring twenties through the eyes of a credible young man named Nick Carraway, who is the first person narrator. It is, in fact, through the narrator's dealings with high society that the reader is shown how modern values have transformed the American Dream's pure ideals into a scheme for materialistic power and even more, how the world of high society lacks any sense of morals or consequence. ...read more.

Middle

And one fine morning-" Gatsby's goal gave him a purpose in life, which sets him apart from the rest of the upper class. He is constantly chasing his dream of being with Daisy, from the moment he stretches toward her house to his final days of life when he patiently waits for hours outside her house even though she has already abandoned her affair with him. Gatsby is a man who has all of the purest traits of the old American hero, hope, perseverance, but he loses them by wearing the dream's modern face. F. Scott Fitzgerald thorugh his novel also shows the destruction of the American Dream to wealth, privilege, and the lack of humanity that those aspects create. Money is clearly identified as the main culprit in the dream's death. It becomes easily entangled with hope and success and replacing their positions in the American Dream with materialism. This is shown through Gatsby's use of illegal practices and underground connections to make money. His lavish parties, his huge mansion, and his giant collection of clothing all represent his corruption. Since he symbolises the American dream and since he is corrupt, then also the American Dream is corrupt. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of the hopes and dreams that strengthened Gatsby are shattered as he lies in his pool, dazed and confused about the world he is living in and about to leave. After shooting Gatsby, George Wilson, the symbol of the common man who is trying to achieve his own success in the modern dream, commits suicide. The deaths of both the rich and poor man trying to achieve their goals symbolize the death of the old American Dream. The dream is now completely lost and can never be restored. Through the tragic story of Jay Gatsby and his failed attempt to reach his dream, F. Scott Fitzgerald also describes the failure of the American Dream and he does so through the frequent use of symbols and metaphors, like the green light at the end of the dock. The characters in The Great Gatsby are the carriers of Fitzgerald's message to the reader- that is, the old American dream and all of its pure ideals have been replaced with money, greed, and materialism. Nick Carraway conveys this message as an outsider, an honest man from the mid-west who witnessed the whole affair as an observer. The Great Gatsby is not about the life and death of James Gatz, but about what James Gatz stood for. So, it is more about the life and death of the old American Dream. ...read more.

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