Consequences Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”. These are the hauntingly beautiful words that conclude what is to be considered one of the most important novels written in American Literature. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the disillusionment of the pursuit of the American Dream during the Roaring Twenties. The novel follows Nick Carraway and his journey throughout West Egg in New York, where he meets and befriends the mysterious and affluent Jay Gatsby. As the economy grows throughout the 1920s, many people waste their money on foolish and unnecessary luxuries. Throughout the story, Gatsby is chasing the American Dream and win back Daisy but, despite his hard work and efforts, Gatsby is still unhappy. Fitzgerald shows…show more content…
Many would argue that the American Dream was all about success and money, and if someone had lots of money they achieve the American Dream. Nevertheless, that success and money comes at a price. Many people are caught in between striving for the American Dream and are unable to afford it. The workers in the book are dirty, exploited, poor, and overall miserable. The Valley of Ashes presents a contrast between the rich and poor due to its location. It is located in-between West Egg and East Egg and the general atmosphere is dreary and depressing with a cloud of gray fog towering over it. The workers do not have the privilege of enjoying a luxurious lifestyle, but instead make daily sacrifices for others. The laborers are described as smothered in ash and dirt, symbolically they are covered in sadness and dread, “... immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight” ( find page). This shows how disconnected the rich had become with the source of their wealth and the fact that other humans were suffering for their
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