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The Great Gatsby And The American Dream

            The Great Gatsby and the American Dream.
             Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is considered by many to be THE novel about the American Dream. On a less grand scale, the book is certainly a representative of 1920s society, a time when the values and morals of the eighteenth and nineteenth century were declining in favor of the materialism and narcissistic attitudes following the First World War.
             The American Dream of the eighteenth and nineteenth century was a proper place in society, which could be realized through self-reliance and self-confidence. This was based on the idea of personal responsibility.
             The tide began to shift in the early twentieth century. People began to revel in new mass-produced commodities such as the radio. Automobiles became the symbol of status, the thing everyone needed to have. This attitude led people to think that social prestige no longer came from how self-sufficient one was - rather, it was based on how much property and how many goods one person had. Instead of earning a place in society, people began to believe they could simply purchase it. The American Dream was up for sale and the new mantra of the masses was to get rich quick. But what seemed to be overlooked was the reality of social class divisions. Fitzgerald shows with Jay Gatsby that a person could not just buy his way into high society, no matter what lengths are taken. It is apparent from the beginning that his misguided dream will come to a tragic end.
             The protagonist Gatsby is one of the prime examples of the "new" American Dream. He uses his wealth to surround himself with material goods and supposed prestige. He believes that money is the key to unlocking the door to a higher social standing in the upper class East Egg, and ultimately, to the object of his dream, Daisy Buchanan. Everything revolves around Daisy; he even "revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.

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