The American Dream In Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby

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On the surface, Baz Luhrman’s film, tells the story of a poor man who falls in love with a rich girl and devotes the rest of his life to getting rich in order to impress her. However, the main theme is less romantic. The movie revolved around the theme of the American Dream in the 1920s. Baz Luhrman’s film, The Great Gatsby, East Egg represents the old aristocracy while West Egg represents the newly rich, the American Dream, the moral and social decay of America, and New York City the uninhibited, amoral quest for money and pleasure (Sparknotes). In great works of literature, setting often plays a centripetal role in the central plot. The setting in The Great Gatsby, plays a great role in the central plot as the main character of the film, …show more content…
Nick mentions that he graduated from Yale like Tom Buchanan and he is related to Daisy Buchanan; in addition, Nick’s father also graduated from Yale which shows he has the family credentials to live in East Egg. Yet, Nick is Gatsby’s neighbor in West Egg. In the book, Nick tells Gatsby, "They 're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You 're worth the whole damn bunch put together" (Fitzgerald, P.180). In comparison, Nick also displays these feelings in the film. Although Nick has the opportunity to live in East Egg among those who were born rich like Daisy and Tom, he chose to return to West Egg because he is trying to make something of himself. Similar to Gatsby, Nick attempts to make something of himself. This process of constructing their own identities is the American Dream. Gatsby and the people of West Egg demonstrate the achievers of the American Dream. Those who strive to go from nothing to success through their own self-merit. Although they lack the credentials, they are more humble with their money and can establish a greater connection, which is shown by how Nick depicts Gatsby throughout the film. In particular, Nick describes Gatsby as the only one to be exempt from his disgust at the start of the film. Nick says, “Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something …show more content…
People in East Egg come from families that always had money; therefore, they 're more snobby, greedy, and mean (Kershner). The inhabitants of West Egg such as Jay Gatsby are more innocent, as they haven 't been consumed by material possessions, money, and greed their whole lives (Kershner). Daisy Buchanan of East Egg was always rich and married Tom of East Egg for his money, which is shown in the scene where Tom gave her a three hundred and fifty dollar set of pearls and the mansion they live in. In the book, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays East Egg as corrupt and is moral-less while West Egg as humble (Kershner). This same portrayal was achieved throughout the film. Nick describes Tom and Daisy as “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” (The Great Gatsby). Tom and Daisy represent those from East Egg and in this quote, Nick exposes them as being “careless”. Their recklessness inflicts pain to those they associate with and they get away with it because they have the money to cover it up. Their recklessness is shown at the end of the movie when they move after Gatsby death to start a life elsewhere, away from the problems they’ve caused. In contrast, Gatsby would

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