The American Dream And The American Dream By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Fitzgerald draws a social commentary on 1920s America and the American Dream as nothing more than a myth.

The American Dream was the national ethos that arose from the Declaration of Independence written by the founding father Thomas Jefferson which states that “all men are created equal” and with hard work and determination they can achieve their goals. In the Great Gatsby, we see no characters who have achieved their dream, and the wealth that they have is not from their own hard work. Tom Buchanan, for example, is part of the leisure who has never had to work a day in his life as his family was “enormously rich”. Nick Carraway similarly has had a rich lifestyle because of a “well-to-do family in the Mid-west”. Jay Gatsby on the other hand,
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gaining wealth and success through organised crime. Meyer Wolfsheim who wsas a ‘gambler’ and worked closely with Gatsby was based on the ruthless ganagster Arnold Rothstein. His sheer power and influence is highlighted when Nick hears that it was him “who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.”and it astounded him that a single man could play with the faith of 50 million people with a single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe. Gatsby’s status as a gangster is stressed through the shady calls he always receives “Chicago wants to talk to you” alluding to the major crime organisation in ‘Chicago’ and ‘Philadelphia’. His influence and his power can been seen as Jordan’s scandal “she had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round” and he was able to take care of the scandal, just so that Jordan could owe him a favour and help him get closer to Daisy.

The corruption of the American Dream is also conveyed through the corruption in the Police force, the keepers of justice who should be on the side of the opressed, but instead are kept on leases by powerful menlike Gatsby can be seen as he turns down the “frantic policeman” who caught him speeding with a white card. He is given speical treatment and let off easily just because “[he] was able to do the commissioner a favor once,” and this shows the extent of the power of gangsters who can get away with

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