Corruption In The Great Gatsby Essay

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, corruption of people and society in the 1920s is a major theme. The American dream was originally about honest hard work, determination, individuality, and finding happiness. The American dream during the roaring 1920s, however, turned into the pursuit of fame, wealth, and pleasure by whatever means necessary, even if it was illegal. Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as a time of deteriorating moral values and growing materialism and corruption, as evident in the characters of Tom Buchanan, Daisy Fay Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Jay Gatsby.
Tom Buchanan is the arrogant and wealthy husband of Daisy Fay Buchanan. People in the novel strive to achieve the American dream and become rich and powerful like
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Daisy is selfish and materialistic. She marries Tom because he is rich and good for her image, “He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars” (75-76). Daisy leads Gatsby on to believe that she will leave Tom to be with him. Gatsby wants her to admit that she never loved Tom, but she cannot, “’Oh, you want too much!’ she cried to Gatsby. ‘I love you now – isn’t that enough? … I did love him once – but I loved you too’” (132). She stays with Tom even though he is constantly cheating on her because she does not want to be without money. If Daisy truly loved Gatsby, she would not have fled town without a trace when he died, “I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him…but she and Tom had gone away early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them” (164). Daisy, on the outside, is the picture perfect woman that everyone wants or wants to be, but on the inside, she is dirtily shallow and morally …show more content…
She is a cheating professional golfer and a liar. When Nick is at a party with her, she leaves a borrowed car out in the rain with the top down and then lies about it. This reminds Nick of a story he heard about her that at her first big golf tournament, she had moved the ball in the semi-final round. Not only does she cheat at golf, but she is a cheat at life, “She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage and, giving this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young” (58). Again, many people strive to move up in class and follow the American dream to be as rich, sexy, and successful as Jordan, but she gains her fame and wealth dishonestly. Nick is attracted to her, but he is able to see that she is just as superficial and morally corrupt as Tom and

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