Disintegration Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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The American Dream. This mentality of individualism and dicovery has always been and continues to be a staple of American culture. However, F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his novel The Great Gatsby, explores the disintegration of the American Dream in the 1920s in an era of unparalleled prosperity and material excess through characters, such as Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson, and Daisy Buchanan, who are all seeking the happiness they desire. In order to obtain such happiness, these characters fall into the trap of materialism and decayed moral values. By depicting characters’ emotional isolation as a means of coping with the empty pursuit of pleasure, Fitzgerald criticizes the superficial effect of the unattainable opportunity for prosperity and success.
The East during the 1920s provided an idealistic and illusionary goal to achieve status and wealth to those who were willing to try. During this time period, a person from any social background could potentially obtain a fortune. Myrtle possesses a fierce vivacity and desperately uses Tom as a way to improve her indigent situation. When Tom and Nick go to the Valley of Ashes to meet Myrtle, Tom tells her to “get on the next train” (Fitzgerald 26). The commuter train, a facet of modernity, represents the more accessible possibility of social mobility. A commuter train that runs past the West Egg and New York also passes by the valley, bringing about the interaction between Tom and Myrtle that would have not been possible
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