Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgearld

By , Louisville, KY
The American Dream is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At least that is what it was all about in the past. People today have morphed the focus point of the American Dream to being all about materialism and greed. It is not at all like what our forefathers intended for this country. Just like how the people’s views of the dream have been morphed, so has their methods of pursuing the dream. The pursuit has been morphed into a tainted method instead of a noble cause because the dream has corrupted people’s values, ruined people’s happiness, and has been heightened by social pressure.

First off, the dream has been changed from a noble method to a tainted one by the way the dream has corrupted peoples values. In the book The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald portrays the corrupted values through the character Gatsby. In the book Fitzgerald talks about how Gatsby gave up who he was in the past and turned to doing illegalized dealings all to obtain his dream. In fact people today are just like that for example, “ Scott Rothstein, a politically connected lawyer, admitted to a 1.2 billion dollars Ponzi scheme” (Christensen). Scott is an example of corrupted values because he conned unknowing people into giving up their money to him for nothing, all so he could attain his dream of becoming rich. He also shows that the dream has shifted from the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to being about greed and materialism because his focus was all on the possession of money.

Furthermore, the dream has also been altered from a noble cause to a tainted one by the way the dream has ruined people’s happiness. In the book, Fitzgerald portrays how the dream has ruined people’s happiness through the character Daisy. He portrays this when Daisy was at Gatsby’s house. "It makes me sad because I've never seen such - such beautiful shirts before."
(Fitzgerald 113). Daisy is also a prime example of how the American Dream has shifted because she chose the money Tom possessed over the love she had for Gatsby which in turn also ruined her happiness. In fact “Research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than material possessions” (Landau). This shows that if people would just marry for the simple fact of love then they would be happier than marrying for money.

Not only has the pursuit of the Dream become tainted by corrupting people’s values but it has also been heightened by social pressures. The book shows this through the eyes of the character Nick as he accompanies Gatsby and Daisy through Gatsby’s house. Fitzgerald states on page 96-97, “He (Gatsby) hadn’t ceased look at daisy and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.” This quote is an example because Gatsby only valued and appreciated the things that were viewed highly by Daisy. His pursuit of the Dream has caused him to only value materials that drew the best responses from others, which in turn just goes to show you that the dream has changed to a materialistic view point. In fact according to an article called America’s Disease is Greed, By Andrew Greely, “People’s desires for public notice have sparked the need for them to be greedy.” This goes to show that social pressure has caused people to want more and more.

In conclusion, just like how the world has evolved so has the American Dream. Materialism and greed are now what the dream is all about now. People’s methods pursuit of the dream has even been polluted by the new dream. It is no longer a noble cause because the dream has corrupted people values, ruined people’s happiness, and has been heightened by social pressures. In society today “greed is responsible for the endless stress and ruthless competition of people.” (Greely).
















Works Cited
Christensen, Jen. "$1.2 Billion Ponzi scheme Brings 50-year Sentence." CNN (2010): 1. Web. 07 Sept.
2010. <http://www.cnn.com/2010/crime/06/09/florid.ponzi.scheme.html>.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Greenly, Andrew “America's Disease Is Greed." Chicago Sun Times (2004): 1-2. Web. 07 Sept. 2010.
<http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0820-09.html>.
Landau, Elizabeth. "Materialistic People Less Happy, Less Liked." CNN (2010): 1. Web. 08 Sept. 2010.

<http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/15/materialistic-people-less-happy-less
liked/?iref=allsearch>.

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