The Great Gatsby is a perfect illustration of the destructive power of dreams.
Destructive power is one of the main themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. In the book Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse into the life of the high class during the roaring twenties through the eyes of a moralistic young man named Nick Carraway. The novel illustrates the society in the 1920s and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of the American population of the time. It is through the narrator's dealings with high society that readers are shown how modern values have transformed the American Dream's pure ideals into a scheme for materialistic power, and further, how the world of high society lacks any sense of morals or consequence. .
The American Dream was essentially a dream of money, wealth, prosperity and the happiness that supposedly came with the booming economy and get-rich-quick schemes that formed the essential underworld of American upper-class society. This hope that success is inevitably achieved through hard work and dedication is one in which most people either believes or would like to believe. In The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the American Dream and the "foul dust" or the carelessness of a society that floats in the wake of this dream. He both subtly and blatantly shatters this dream for his readers, imposing on them the realistic attitude that the American Dream can never be fully realized. While Gatsby is the obvious embodiment of this theme, it is also illustrated through the author's other characters, namely Myrtle, George, Tom and Daisy.
Myrtle Wilson's desire for upper class status rivals that of all other characters in The Great Gatsby. She cannot stand being married to a poor man, and resents being tied down to the Garage where they live and work, as her she says: .
" he isn't fit to lick my shoe." (Pg. 37).
She dreams being a part of the elite group of the idle rich, a desire she satisfies through an affair with Tom Buchanan, a married man who is extremely wealthy.