Saturday, December 10, 2011

Great Gatsby's 'american dream'

The Great Gatsby has put doubt into the american dream, from this novel the 'dream' seems less achievable in a law abiding manner and more achievable through corruption. The 'american dream' has always based its priorities itself made success, however in the Great Gatsby, the success seen has all come from exterior help, for example; inheritance from family of friends. This novel promotes the only way a man/women can self make their own success or achieve this 'dream' is through crime, as did Jay Gatsby (although we are unsure of exact crime). Another reason for Jay's success is that he was given inheritance, this would start him on the road to riches.

This climb to riches only takes Gatsby a couple of years, which is seen as impossible nowadays without exterior help, the Great Gatsby gives a hard boiled version of the 'american dream' but not appropriate or saint like. This can be seen as the only way to achieve riches today, therefore showing how the american dream has changed through centuries. If we look at Ragged Dick, the rise to success is more righteous as Dick doesn't commit crime or offends anyone, however he does not reach the same riches as Jay Gatsby, showing that in order to accomplish high riches, you must do it through controversy.

“If Gatsby is the novel’s representation of the American dream, however, the dream must be a corrupt one, for Gatsby achieves it only through criminal activities, a fact that severely deflates the image of the honest, hardworking man that the dream is supposed to foster.” (Tyson, 2006)

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