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The Great Gatsby and the Corrupted American Dream
Transcript of The Great Gatsby and the Corrupted American Dream
Corrupted American Dream Myrtle believes she can achieve the American Dream by marrying wealth and acting as if she is in a higher social class. She tries to marry Tom to
advance her social class. In Chapter 2,
her sister says, "You see, it's really his wife
that's keeping them apart." She also says, "When
they do get married, they're going west to live until
it blows over." Catherine constantly hints at Tom and Myrtle's marriage, even though it will never happen.
Myrtle even rejects her social class. In Chapter 2, she tells us, "The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody's best suit to get married in." In the end, Myrtle gets
hit by a car. This is how Fitzgerald shows that
the American Dream is unachievable by
such means. The text gives us plenty of evidence that Gatsby is a "bootlegger"...... In the scene at the Plaza Hotel, Tom tells Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the
characters to illustrate this corrupted dream. Myrtle Wilson Kurapati tell us in his article,
"She thinks that by associating with
Tom Buchanan, and buying expensive things
for her apartment, she is rising in class."
A contributor also tells us that "Myrtle is another
person who puts all of her hope of the American
Dream in material items and doesn't emphasis the importance of the ideas behind the items." Myrtle's
perception of the American Dream leads to her
demise. Myrtle believes that marrying wealth is the key to happiness. REJECTED Myrtle believes she is advancing her social class
by rejecting hers. Myrtle believes that in order to achieve the
dream, she has to be someone she's not. She does
this by wearing expensive dresses and buying
expensive furniture for her small apartment. Jay Gatsby Jay Gatzby believes that he can achieve
the American Dream with financial
success through unacceptable means. "That drug store business was small change, but you've
got something going on now that Walter is afraid to tell me about." Many people involved in organized crime are afraid to tell what they know, because of the fear of being killed.
In the scene where the police lets Gatsby go, Gatsby tells Nick, "I was able to do the commissioner a favor once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year." Hmm, a "Christmas card"? Sounds very suspicious.
In Chapter 5, Wolfsheim asks Nick, "I understand you're looking for a business gonnegtion.", and Gatsby
immediately responds, "Oh no, this isn't the man." A
business "connection"? What kind of business
connection? Based on the rest of the evidence,
it obviously isn't a good one. Plenty of evidence from the text shows that Gatsby
is involved in organized crime. Organized crime is how he gets his wealth to pursue the American Dream. Gatsby believes that financial success is the way to win Daisy, who represents the American Dream. In the end, Gatsby's death symbolizes that one can not achieve the American Dream through such a way, especially if the money was earned illegally. In Roberts article, "Scarface, The
Great Gatsby, and the American Dream",
Roberts says, "After all, the central characters
place their faith in a highly material version of the American Dream that seems to promise wealth,
the love of a high-status woman, and immediate justice . . . they die young and violently because of their own weaknesses and the corruption of the world they have attempted to conquer." Gatsby dies because he pursue the dream in a corrupt way. We are also told that, "Working with the mafia corrupts the American dream because having to break the law in order to make your money is shallow." Gatsby's association with organized crime corrupts his dream. Tom Buchanan Tom already has money, power, and
wealth, but he still wasn't satisfied. His
American Dream is to have more and be as powerful as he can be. Nick tells us that Tom seemed to be
saying,"Now, don't think my opinion on
these matters is final, just because I'm stronger
and more of a man than you."Daisy also says,
"That's what I get for marrying a brute of a man, a
great, big hulking . . . ." Tom's description fits his
American Dream. He wants to be superior than
everyone else. He also shows that he wants more
when he says, "I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off
on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always
come back, in my heart I love her all." Julia Nicholson says,
"Tom Buchanan's American Dream
was to stay wealthy. He wanted to own
everything that a significant wealthy man
would have in the 1920's, and maybe even
more." Tom has already achieved wealth, but he
wants more. Tom "abused the American dream after he had achieved it solely to enjoy himself more." Gatsby tries to his best to achieve the American Dream but he is trapped in the middle class. Tom's greed and power corrupts the American Dream. Tom cheats on Daisy with Myrtle. He does this solely to enjoy himself more. Tom is a very destructive character. He destroys everything he
touches and "retreats back into his money". He destroys the American Dream for Myrtle and others.