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Great Gatsby - Illusion of the American Dream

            John Cougar Mellencamp is an extremely famous and rich all-American singer who grew up in a small town; surely he achieved the American Dream. Mellencamp sang in the song "Small Town" (released in 1985), "No I cannot forget where it is I come from." Mellencamp expresses that even though he has a lot of money, he can't change who he is or where he is from, and deep down he is still a small town guy. The debatable illusion of the ability to be whoever you want, regardless of race, background, wealth, or any other distinguishable feature is known as the great American Dream. It is the idea that anybody from anywhere can become anyone. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published in 1925. The book illustrates the American Dream when the narrator, Nick Carraway from the middle class, moves to New York City to be successful in the bond business. He lived next to Gatsby, a man who started with next to nothing in the Midwest, but grew to be extremely wealthy to impress Daisy. Daisy is Nick's cousin, and Gatsby's long lost lover from before Gatsby went into the war. Unfortunately, Gatsby did not win Daisy over with his new money. Did Gatsby really achieve the American Dream or does his small town background keep him from it? Fitzgerald criticizes the American Dream using multiple symbols in his book, The Great Gatsby. .
             No matter how hard Gatsby tries to impress Daisy with his money and extravagant parties, his house shows that Gatsby is not the rich, fortunate man that she needs. Daisy grew up rich, so her love for Gatsby does not overpower her love of money. Daisy Buchannan is married to Tom Buchannan, whose house in East Egg is "even more elaborate then I [Nick Carraway] expected, a Georgian Colonial Mansion" (6). Tom's house with the appearance of a Georgian Mansion symbolizes old money, or inherited money. It is an example of the true upper class. On the other hand, Fitzgerald describes Gatsby's house in West Egg, the lower class of the two eggs, as a "factual imitation of some hotel de Ville in Normandy" (5) similar to the style of a new, modern building.

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