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great gatsby rough draft essay

The American dream is the belief that people through their struggle and toil in the harshness of life can somehow achieve their dreams. This belief plays a prominent role in The Great Gatsby. The American dream serves as a backdrop to the splendor and bustle of the Roaring Twenties. Nick Caraway is at first amazed by how all his friends’ material dreams have come true. Surely this finery and wealth must be the American dream.

He soon discovers that this splendor is just a facade for the hollowness of society. The character f Nick Caraway goes to the East under the impression that the American dream stood for discovery, individualism, and the pursuit Of happiness. He finds, however, that this dream is dead and has been replaced by an American dream corrupted by crime, flawed values, and raging materialism. Nick Caraway believes in the American ideal of a self made man. But this principle stands in harsh contrast with the crime and violence he find in the East.

The main link to the world of crime in the novel is Gatsby. Though Gatsby has a noble dream, to become successful to win his true love, we see IM fall prey to the temptations of easy money. Nick is disgusted by the means with which Gatsby has tried to reach his dream, “Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elation’s of men”. Gatsby dream is eventually snuffed out when Daisy refuses to leave Tom.

The death of Gatsby dream is symbolic for the death Of the American dream. Gatsby illustrates how the American dream has become filled with the temptations of crime and easy money. Gatsby honorTABLE intentions soon become warped by this corrupted American dream as he gains his riches through bootlegging. Once Nick learns that all of Gatsby wealth is attained through crime it suddenly seems less impressive. Nick Caraway is constantly disgusted by other characters lack of morals, even some of his closest acquaintances in the East.

This lack of morals leaves many of the characters hallow. These hallow characters lack substance and are shielded only by their superficiality, wealth, or drunkenness. Many of the characters in the novel have traded their morals for the superficial life of the wealthy. The American dream of Nicks imagination was filled with ethical, intelligent people. This dream dies when it meets the reality of the East. Nick finds people to be shallow and unintelligent. The women he first meets seem vain and to have no real passions. Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze Of the fans”. Daisy constantly comments only on what she wants to do tomorrow. Jordan is described as a “constant liar’. Even though both these women have successful lives neither are content and try to pacify this void with material wealth. Nick is also disgusted with the ignorance of characters like Tom. Tom feigns intelligence but misguided efforts only make his lack of knowledge more apparent.

Tom explains his idea on racial dominance, “The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be ? will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved”. Finding this kind of ignorance in the upper echelons of society shows how the American dream is being corrupted. Toms ignorance shows that one becomes successful not through wit but raw power and family lineage. Raging materialism at first impresses Nick in the form of houses and arties but soon he sees something much more sinister. The greedy scramble for wealth only serves as a facade to shallow lives.

This materialism directly contradicts Nick’s idea of the American dream. People in the novel often shield their immoral shallow behavior with material wealth. A good example of this materialism is Gatsby parties. Although Nick is initially impressed by the splendor of these parties he soon finds that the only reason people come is to revel in Gatsby material wealth. Nick is revolted by the vanity Of those attending the parties. The party goers cover their drunken immoral fighting tit their material wealth. This theme of shielding with wealth is embodied through Tom and Daisy. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy ? they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made”. The dreams characters in the novel have center around material wealth and corrupt the American dream by creating shallow empty people. Through the course Of the novel the character Of Nick Caraway is exposed to the vain, hallow superficial lifestyle of the East.

What he initially takes as success and wealth is soon revealed to be a shield to disguise the characters shallow lives. Nick observes even noble characters such as Gatsby succumbing to crime and materialism effectively killing his notion Of the American dream. What the American dream stood for was more than material wealth, it was an American character. This character is what is extinguished in the East. The East instead offers a corrupted dream of loose morals, easy money, and a material God. People in the East begin to worship this shallow dream instead and the American dream is quietly forgotten.

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