Gatsby And The American Dream Essay

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The very concept of the American Dream remains a defining factor in the lives of millions today. With its charm of anticipated success and security, it has drawn scores of immigrants to U.S. shores. However, the pursuit for this perfect life has unsavory implications. In his 1925 novel, author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s uses Jay Gatsby, Myrtle Wilson, the Valley of Ashes, and the eyes of T. J. Eckleburg to depict how the human pursuit for the American Dream (wealth and riches) leads to social and moral decay. Jay Gatsby’s quest for money and status through bootlegging and other illicit means after his return from the war are a result of his willingness to sacrifice his morality for the sake of attaining wealth. With the ultimate goal of impressing and winning over Daisy Buchanan, his former lover, Gatsby is willing to go to any length to achieve his goal. He does so through several illegal ventures with Meyer Wolfsheim, an underworld associate and acquaintance to Gatsby. Gatsby passes this acquired wealth off as inheritance, when in reality “he and this Wolfsheim brought up a lot of side street drug stores” and “sold grain alcohol over the counter” to make their fortunes (Fitzgerald 141). Through these illegal dealings with unscrupulous outcomes, Gatsby is a clear portrayal of the social and moral decay that pervades the events in the Great Gatsby, which is a result of his unwillingness to work truthfully and be honest in his dealings. His lack of morals or basic virtues
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