The Decline Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby narrates the story of a man, Jay Gatsby, and his perseverance to achieve his dream to win over his love, Daisy. Unfortunately, Gatsby’s life comes to an abrupt end, along with that dream. All of this is seen through the point of view of Nick Carraway, a man who moves to New York to learn about the bond business. The book takes place in the 1920s, a time of economic prosperity, with many people striving to achieve the American Dream. The American Dream is the ideal that Americans have the opportunity to achieve wealth and prosperity through hard work and dedication. Many interpretations of the American Dream suggest that not only do people gain wealth through hard work and dedication, but a set of morals …show more content…
In the 1920s, the prohibition of alcohol was enacted and many people such as Gatsby started up illegal businesses to supply others with alcohol that they needed. Gatsby’s reason for participating in such businesses was to earn money for Daisy. Though he meant well for Daisy, he acted on his intense obsession to be with her and broke the law, showing his lack of morals and judgement, thus proving the decline in the American Dream. Meyer Wolfshiem as an individual acts as a perfect example of the decline of the American Dream. Firstly, Wolfsheim did not work hard at all to become wealthy. Wolfsheim cheated in the World Series to earn millions of dollars for himself. Gale, a reliable source that works with Cengage Learning to assist thousands of kids in over 20 countries around the world, even goes onto state that “ Meyer Wolfsheim’s enterprising ways to make money are criminal” (Themes and Construction). Meyer Wolfsheim represents the greed that many people had to money in the 1920s. Whether by hook or by crook, Meyer Wolfsheim strived to earn the money that he thought he rightfully deserved, even if that meant breaking the law and running an illegal business. This signifies the deterioration of the American …show more content…
For example, Jordan Baker represents the lack of morals in people back then because her determination to be great at golf causes her to cheat in the golf tournament. Another character that signifies the corruption of morals and the decline of the American Dream is Daisy Buchanan. Daisy specifically represents that of selfishness in the book. For example, though she claimed that she loved Gatsby, she went on to marry Tom, as she found out that he was rich while Gatsby was poor. Daisy also represents cowardness in The Great Gatsby. The way she let Gatsby take the blame for killing Myrtle Wilson just proves that she never loved Gatsby, but rather herself. Both Tom and Daisy Buchanan represent the infidelity throughout The Great Gatsby. Tom is unfaithful to Daisy with Myrtle while Daisy is unfaithful to Tom with Gatsby. Their infidelity is quite common, as Tom loved Myrtle and Daisy loved the idea of Gatsby’s money. Their infidelity shows how weak relationships were in the face of a growing economy and a growing greed for money. Tom, Daisy, and Jordan all seem to lose their morals in a way because of the fact that they move from the west to the east. Nick seems to be the only character who has not lost all of his morals. Per Bjornar Grande, a norwegian lecturer and novelists who works as a professor at the Bergen University College in Norway, states in his

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