Corruption Of The American Dream In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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The Corruption of Gatsby 's American Dream The American Dream: the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. This is a dream that can be achieved by all, although not everyone will have the determination to overcome adversity. Facing adversity leads some to take shortcuts and the easy way out, corrupting the perception of what the American Dream is all about. In F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a man who once aspired to become the epitome of the American Dream. Soon after facing adversity he lets his dream spoil and wither away. Beginning in his childhood, Gatsby creates a dream that then seems almost attainable through …show more content…
Gatsby 's childhood molded and formed his American Dream as he yearned for a life superior to the one he experienced as a child. He grew up poor as "His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people. His imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all" (Fitzgerald 98). Gatsby realized how he was living was not how life was supposed to be. He became "ambitious to escape his origins through his adherence to the American Dream of success; but his boyhood endeavors to become a self-made man in the Benjamin Franklin tradition fail" (Tunc). Gatsby 's childhood made him obsessed with never living poor again, he becomes willing to do anything to have a better life. This obsession corrupts his American Dream as his mind is occupied with nothing but a life of wealth, setting his dream up to eventually be ruined. Gatsby is determined to a fault. Determined not to fail, Gatsby devotes himself to escaping and forgetting his life as a child. Gatsby 's childhood created his American Dream while setting him up to stray away from it from the beginning. His memories of his childhood falter along with his American …show more content…
After failing to collect the inheritance left to him by Dan Cody, Gatsby devotes himself to becoming a man of wealth. Gatsby refuses to let this bump in the road stop him; he is "not deterred by delay or failure" (Roulston). While Nick and Gatsby are at lunch in New York, Gatsby introduces Nick to Meyer Wolfsheim, a significant figure in organized crime. Nick sits down and is immediately wary of this man when he says to him, "I understand you 're looking for a business gonnegtion" (Fitzgerald 70). Wolfsheim has mistaken Nick for one of his and Gatsby 's business "acquaintances". The confusion is obvious as Gatsby states, "Oh no, this isn 't the man" (Fitzgerald 71). Clearly, Gatsby has engaged in some kind of illegal activity with "the man that fixed the 1919 World Series" (Fitzgerald 73). It is soon revealed and obvious that Gatsby "acquired his wealth through organized crime like distributing illegal alcohol, trading in stolen securities, bribing police officers, and is introduced to a new element of society" (Tunc). Gatsby is tempted by wealth and he will do anything humanly possible to attain it. Tom Buchanan, Daisy 's husband and subtle enemy, eventually calls him out on his means of income. He prods, "I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn 't far wrong" (Fitzgerald 133). Gatsby, unfazed and unsurprised, questions, "What about it?"

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