Perversion Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms farther...” describes the belief known as the American Dream stating that anyone can achieve success through hard work regardless of their past. The story The Great Gatsby, originally portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel and later Luhrmann’s film adaptation, explores the theme of the perversion of the American Dream. This is evident through analysis of the meaning of the American Dream; Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the characters of Gatsby, the Buchanan’s, and the Wilson’s; the symbolism behind locations such as The Valley of Ashes and West and East Egg; and the social norms of the successful, such as partying and drinking. “Gatsby believed in the green …show more content…

Gatsby’s hard work is evident in the efforts he puts into working for Dan Cody, his service in World War I, his work in remedial jobs such as clamming and almost as a janitor, and his brief time spent at Oxford University. Nick’s encounter with Gatsby’s father after Gatsby’s death further demonstrates the effort Gatsby puts into planning his journey of self-improvement by setting a daily schedule of studying, working, exercising and “[practicing] the art of elocution, poise and how to attain it”. Per the American Dream, this would result in his success, however Gatsby does not receive Dan Cody’s inheritance, drops out of Oxford, and only achieves wealth after resorting to illegal business and bootlegging. Gatsby’s character displays how the American Dream is corrupted through lack of morals leading to wealth, while honest hard work does not. This is better portrayed in the novel, which describes Gatsby’s journal of self-establishment in detail – such as Gatsby’s “schedule” – that is not evident in the film. The film therefore detracts from Gatsby’s personal portrayal of the perversion of the American

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