The Great Gatsby: The Morally Corrupt American Dream Essay examples

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Exposing the Morally Corrupt American Dream

The 1920’s were a decade of renaissance characterized by the establishment of the "American Dream" -- the belief that anyone can, and should, achieve material success. F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous 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 ... describes the failure of the
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"Daisy and her husband display their indifference to human values in episodes involving sexual exploitation and careless violence" (Fahey 72). The Buchanans are not the only shallow ones, Jordan is "incurably dishonest" and her opinion that "'It takes two to make an accident,'" is an attempt to justify of her thoughtlessness (Fitzgerald 63). "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," says Nick (Fitzgerald 187). Since the wealthy social class to which they belong is immoral, they can get away with being corrupt; a corruption that stems from a false sense of security in their money.

One of the faults in the American dream is that it equates material wealth and possessions with happiness. However, not everything, nor everyone, can be bought. Nick, for example, refuses Gatsby's business preposition. "But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there" (Fitzgerald 87). Also, the owners of the neighbouring houses surrounding Gatsby's mansion refused to have their roofs thatched with straw when the late owner of the mansion offered to pay five year's taxes on their cottages (Fitzgerald 93). Moreover,

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