The Great Gatsby - Corruption of the American Dream Essay

1924 Words May 7th, 2013 8 Pages
'The Great Gatsby is a novel about the corruption of the American Dream.' How far would you agree with this statement?

The American Dream is fundamentally the idea that anyone in America can accomplish through hard work and can achieve success and happiness. It has been expanded on through the years and now incorporates ideas of attaining freedom, wealth and power. In the 1920s when 'The Great Gatsby' was written the Jazz Age was taking hold and the American Dream became more about material possessions being used to show a person's wealth and status and to indicate that they have been successful in life. The materialism of this period of time in America corrupted the American Dream by the intense focus on gaining wealth and power and
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This shows how the world portrayed in 'The Great Gatsby' representing America in the 1920s treats people who dare to dream.

Topography is used to show the different groups and types of people, as different social classes or types of people live in different locations in 'The Great Gatsby'. “East Egg” represents the upper class, and “West Egg” the people that are self-made and have worked their way up. The residents of East Egg feel that the residents of West Egg are inferior because they lack the social standing of the East Eggers, and so Gatsby can never be with Daisy. Gatsby, a resident of West Egg, has all the tackiness, for example his “toilet set of pure dull gold”, of the lower class, and none of the elegance that comes with the upper class. The “Valley of Ashes” is another location in 'The Great Gatsby', which appears to represent the people whose dreams have not come true. The adjectives “terrible”, “desolate” and “dismal” are used to describe this area, suggesting a place of utter depression. The men are “ash-grey” and the land is covered in “bleak dust”. There is a sense of a lack of hope from the residents, and these are people who have failed to achieve their dreams. The disheartened and defeated attitude of the resident of the Valley of Ashes shows the corruption of the American Dream because these people have probably

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