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The Great Gatsby and The American Dream

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Marina Julião

on 21 December 2015

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby and The American Dream

To complete, Gatsby is the perfect personification of the 1920's. He was wild and full hope, but unfortunately his roaring days came to an end tragically, marking the end of a dream.
The Great Gatsby and The American Dream
Corruption & Capitalism
Gatsby was corrupted by the capitalist ideal that the dream depends on your financial and material success.
Women in the 1920's
The Death of A Dream
The Roaring 20's
The story of Nick, Gatsby, Daisy and Tom happens during the 1920s, possibly one of the most important decades in modern American History.
The 1920's were a time of excesses, everything was too much, or too less. As Nick says in the 2013 movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby : "The buildings were higher, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser, and liquor was cheaper."

A visual essay about F . Scott Fitzgerald's characters journeys and frustrations in the 1920s
The Crisis of 29
"Wall Street Crash of 1929." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.
"Great Depression." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
"History of Feminism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, May 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
"1929 Crash Newspaper" Kizaz. Web. 29 Nov. 2014"
"1929 Stock Market Crash Newspaper." 1929 Stock Market Crash Historic Newspaper Reprint. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Great Gatsby Gender Quotes." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
"Manic Pixie Dream Girl." Tv Tropes. Web. 04 Dec 2014.
Yelich-O'Connor, Ella. Royals. Lorde. Joel Little, 2013. MP3.
Turner, Alex. Love is a Laserquest. Arctic Monkeys. James Ford, 2011. MP3
Fitzgerald, Scott F.
The Great Gatsby
. London: Arcturus Limited, 2013. Print.
"Immigration Act of 1924" Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb 2014. Web. 02 Dec 2014.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The 1920s". Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 01 Dec 2014.
Images from Pinterest, Google and Youtube.

Gatsby is just one of the many characters in the fiction world that naively believes in the American Dream and in the freedom the USA provides. He is not only corrupted by the American ideal, but he falls into a spiral of events and consequences he can't get himself off.
The great majority of the characters Fitzgerald created are moved by money and believe that the more money, the better.
"Her voice is full of money" (Fitzgerald, 140)
"The one on my right was a colossal affair by
any standard - it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy..." (16)
American Dream
The immigrants were attracted by the bright possibilities US provided. The American Dream seems very easy from outside, when in reality, it is almost impossible. The speech of a "free country" is still one of the most appealing qualities the US offers to the world, still attracting millions of people.
After the First World War, the United States had a major economic boom, attracting millions of people. It is estimated that between 1880 and 1920, 25 million people immigrated to the US, making it the greatest wave of immigration in American History [Shmoop]
In Brazil, there is a culture that believes that everything is better in the U.S., and that every American is rich and successful. This results in mass immigration of brazilians every year, making the U.S. the country with the biggest brazilian population outside of Brazil (approx 339k).

In the song "Royals" by Lorde, the 18- year-old singer criticizes the idea the media and the mainstream music industry sells to teenagers, advertising a life of fame, drugs and parties. She also says that she and her other "normal" friends will never be part of that society.
Characters that attempt the American dream:
Jude (Across the Universe): Went to the USA to
find his dad and try for a better life to help his mom back in in the UK. His dream ended when he couldn't find a proper job with a good payment because he didn't had a Visa.
Iggy Azalea (Australian Rapper): Went to the United States alone at the age of 16 to reinvent herself and make it in the music industry. Lots of years of hard work are portrayed in her single "Work": "No money no family/ Sixteen in the middle of Miami". She

Walter White (Breaking Bad): Much like Gatsby himself, Walter also engaged in illegal business in order to get easy money. Even though Walt had a very different reason for money, he and Gatsby have similiar stories. Both were everyman that with determination and preseverance became great.
Back in the day, women were treated as objects and they were property of men. With Gatsby it was not different. He treats Daisy as if she was an objects and not a human being with willpower.
He created such unrealistic expectations for Daisy that he was bound to fail his plan of conquering her back. He treats love like it is a game.

Love is a Laserquest, by the Arctic Monkeys


"Do you still feel younger than you thought you were by now?"
"Or, darling, have you started feeling old yet?
Don't worry, I'm sure that you're still breaking hearts"
"I've tried to ask you this, in some
Daydreams that I've had"
Alex Turner created a song similar to Gatsby's situation, where he is still deeply in love with a girl that doesn't take love seriously.

There are still too many unrealistic expectations on women even on today's society, and this affects both genders.
Grapes of Wrath 1940's movie.
But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose
Trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns
Trashin' the hotel room
We don't care
We're driving cadillacs in our dreams

But everybody's like cristal, maybach
Diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care
We aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz


"Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room, and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor." (19)
"Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand" (50)

"... he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy"(130)
"He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through the end" (109)
Was there ever a dream to begin with?
Full transcript