F. Scott Fitzgerald and Great Gatsby Essay

Submitted By Julia-Morris
Words: 1622
Pages: 7

Julia Morris
Mr. McClay
English IV Academic
May 15, 2014
Corruption of the American Dream Many great American novels such as The Great Gatsby tackle the subject of "passing," which involves a character pretending to be something or someone that he or she is not. Although it takes awhile for the reader to learn that Gatsby has invented his entire life in order to pass as someone from a higher social class. The dream has had variations throughout different time periods, although it is generally based on ideas of freedom, self-reliance, and desire for something greater. In the past century, the American Dream has increasingly focused on material items as an indication of attaining success. In The Great Gatsby, Jat Gatsby is a self-made man who started out with no money - only a plan for achieving his dream.He is so blinded by his luxurius possessions that he does not see that money cannot buy love or happiness. Fitzgerald demonstrates how a dream can become corrupted by one's focus on acquiring wealth, power, and expensive things. "Gatsby never succeeds in seeing through the sham of this world. It is the essence of his romantic American vision that it lacks the seasoned powers of discrimination and he dies faithful to the end" (Pidgeon). He was too focused on having material objects to impress people trying to get to the girl that he loves, Daisy, his American Dream became corrupted by the culture of wealth and opulence that surrounds him. Gatsby's romantic view of wealth has not prepared him for the self-interested, snobbish, corrupt group of people with which he comes to associate. Gatsby buys expensive things and entertains large groups of society because of his incommunicable desire for something greater. Nick Carraway realizes that although Gatsby is involved in underhanded business dealings and is fixated on money, he is a good man at heart. "They're such beautiful shirts," she sobbed... "It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before" (Fitzgerald, 92). Gatsby's romantic view of life may partly be to blame for his ability to achieve his dream. Although he has made his fortune through conducting suspicious business deals, his heart seems untouched by the moral evil that is surrounding him. "... they are defenseless before the other side of American life, the materialistic, pragmatic world of Daisy and Tom. And so Gatsby really does become a tragic figure almost in the classic sense. HIs flaw is his "faith" in mankind and in America, which has blinded his intelligence and judgement" (Pidgeon). Even though Daisy is married to Tom, Gatsby still tries to convince her that they are ment for each other. She still flirts with him because she isn't truly happy with her marriage, if she could she would probably have both. "He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: "I never loved you." After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken" (Fitzgerald, 109). "Then she abruptly leaves the dinner table to recieve Tom after he has left to answer a telephone call, evidently from his lover, Myrtle Wilson (14-16), and when Daisy is alone with Nick, she complains bitterly about her marriage and her life" (Sutton). Daisy claims she loves Tom but she knows he has someone else on the side, if she isn't happy she should just leave if they want to be with different people. Daisy is a symbol of all that Gatsby strives for; her voice is full of money, as Gatsby describes it. "Gatsby's attraction to Daisy lies in the fact that she i the green light that signals him into the heart of his vision. Fitzgerald maintains the mythic quality of Gatsby by avoiding details of the romance; he leads us at once to recognize that Daisy is not in reality what Gatsby dreams she is" (Pidgeon). Gatsby thinks that Daisy is everything a man could ever need, he's so blinded by everything else about her, he doesn't realize how she really