F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the decline in the American Dream in one of his most well-known novels, The Great Gatsby. Though this book simply takes place over the few months, that represents the entire time period of the 1920s, through which society, mainly on the East Coast, sees the decay of the American Dream. What once was the concept of hard work and prosperity turns into perverted idealism and pathetic optimism. In this novel, Gatsby and other characters represent the corrupt American Dream.
When ever Gatsby’s true past has been revealed, it seems like as though he embodies the American Dream. Once a small fisherman and clam digger, he turns into a self-made rich man through hard work, inspite of being the son of unsuccessful parents. Nick claims, “His parents were shiftless and not successful farm people- his creativeness had never really accepted all of them as his parents for all” (104). The fact that Gatsby has achieved more than his parents is a single definition of the American Fantasy. He has a instructor, Dan Cody, who impact on Gatsby at a young age group. Cody him self is a prosperous millionaire. As Nick points out, “Cody was fifty years old then, an item of the Nevasca silver areas, of the Yukon, of every hurry for metal since Seventy-five. The deals in Montana copper that made him many times a millionaire found him literally robust¦”(105). Living on Cody’s expensive yacht, Gatsby becomes accustomed to the luxurious way of life of the wealthy and dedicates himself to become a wealthy, powerful man.
Gatsby’s dream, however , becomes dodgy. He uses “get-rich-quick” schemes and includes outlandish and over-the-top get-togethers to get the focus of his love, Daisy. It is even intimated that he offers grain alcohol over the counter. Mary states, “I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were. He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street medicine stores here and in Chicago and offered grain alcohol over the counter. Gowns one of his little tricks. I selected him for the bootlegger the very first time I saw him and I wasn’t far wrong” (141). Gatsby simply response, “What about it? ” (141). Gatsby is also connected with other illegal activities and wagering. Gatsby wants Daisy really that this individual once was willing to give up his noble dreams for money and material assets. His idealism, however , becomes perverted. The will for personal joy and individuality is no longer the American Wish, it has been used by materials and joys. Gatsby hard drives around in his Rolls-Royce, shows off his various expensive tshirts, and hails from an obscenely huge mansion, but many of these objects will be completely unneeded and obviously do not make him happy. Nick describes the time when ever Gatsby shows off his t shirts:
“He got out plenty of00 shirts and began tossing them one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and thicker silk and fine cotton which misplaced their folds up as they droped and covered the stand. While all of us admired this individual brought out the the very soft rich pile mounted larger. “
“I’ve received a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a collection of things at the start of each time, spring and fall, Gatsby says (97).
Gatsby is simply showing off his riches in an attempt to appeal to Daisy.
The parties that Gatsby throws are entirely “empty”. Various people turn up to these parties, but all of them do it on their own and their meaningless pursuits of enjoyment. Nick explains the celebrations that Gatsby has. He says
“¦the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors¦The bar is at full swing and floating rounds of cocktails penetrate the garden outside until the atmosphere is alive with chatter and frivolity and everyday innuendo and introductions ignored on the spot and enthusiastic group meetings between girls that never knew each other’s names” (44).
These people are imitation, greedy, and hollow. They don’t really care about Gatsby or perhaps each other, but rather come even though they can. Again, they are seeking material possessions and low-cost pleasure. In fact , they do not also show up to Gatsby’s memorial. Nick and Owl Sight discuss this at Gatsby’s grave.
“I couldn’t reach the house. inch [Owl Eyes states]
“Neither may anybody else. “
“Go in! Why, my personal God! They used to take a look by the hundreds. The poor son-of-a-bitch. “
All their idealisms happen to be perverted, and the actions happen to be immoral. The parties that Gatsby punches only worsen these probe and idealisms.
Morality is usually not the sole value that has gone down the wrong path in this story. Gatsby’s positive outlook is tainted as well. This individual has the unobtainable goal of winning Daisy over. This individual puts her on a base and idealizes her, though she is not worthy of Gatsby’s attention. The object of Gatsby’s dream (Daisy) is not worth, just like the things of the damaged American Dream (pleasure and money) happen to be unworthy. Nick tries to explain this to him by simply saying, “They’re a ruined crowd. If you’re worth the entire damn group put together” (162). Since Gatsby cannot earn Daisys love, he’s forced to make all of his money illegally in order to win over her. But because of their distinct social statuses, he are unable to reach this goal.
Social status is yet another example of the dreams problem. Residents about West Egg, including Gatsby, cannot win the devotion of the citizens of East Egg. Though people living in West Egg have made their particular money themselves and performed hard to do so , they have certainly not gained the respect of East Egg, whose citizens have aged money. Gatsby thinks that he can break the barrier between the two classes, however in reality, it can be impossible. This individual tries to bring back the past, the moment his desire had benefit. He says, “Can’t repeat earlier times? Why of course you can! inches (116). Gatsby dedicates his whole life to this illusion of any dream, and when he finally realizes it truly is impossible, there exists nothing remaining to do although die. Chip narrates, “He had paid a high price for living a long time with a single dream. A new world, material without being actual, where poor ghosts, inhaling dreams just like air, drifted fortuitously about¦” (169). His dream is usually impossible and cannot provide happiness to him, and, therefore , is an impression.
Gatsby is usually not the sole character from this book to represent the perversion of the American Dream. His partner and accomplice, Meyer Wolfsheim, is involved in a number of illegal actions in order to gain his wealth. Gatsby says, “He’s a bettor. He’s the person who fixed the World’s Series back 1919” (78). Jordan Baker is another example. Nick says, “There was a row that nearly reached the newspapers- a suggestion that she experienced moved her ball by a bad rest in the semi-final round” (62). Both of these character types have done illegitimate and unjust things to gain their achievements. This is certainly not a part of the traditional view in the American Fantasy, where hard work will complete anything.
Once most people 1st read The Wonderful Gatsby, they think it is a like story among Gatsby and Daisy. After more believed and reading, it becomes clear that Fitzgerald is trying to share a larger concept. It is that in the twenties, the traditional American Dream was taken over by the extreme desire for money and pleasure. The American dream had become a perverted idealism and a pathetic confidence. People during this period ambitiously hunted down unobtainable desired goals, and many had been left in despair. There is certainly much more to the “Jazz Age” than flapper girls and illegal alcoholic beverages. Americans began to see the decay of the American Dream.