The American Dream Has Changed Over Time Analysis

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Additionally, the death of the Original American Dream is shown through the increasing desire for materialism and excess. Myrtle’s love of materialism is what ruins her marriage with her husband and drives her toward death. When she first marries George, Myrtle believes that she is crazy about him, but she reveals, “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, and never even told me about it…” (Fitzgerald 37). The article “How the American Dream Has Changed Over Time” explains: “Many people speculate that the American Dream has become something that few can obtain: excessive material and wealth…Owning land is no longer the dream. Owning a home is no longer…show more content…
In order to achieve her materialistic American Dream, she cheats on her husband to work her way up to the upper class, disregarding her morals in the process. Her love for materialism urges her to commit adultery and leads to her death when a car hits her after running away from her husband. The Original American Dream is dead due to the increasing desire of materialism, causing many to resort to distasteful behaviour to have a remote chance of achieving the American Dream. Similarly, Daisy and Tom Buchanan’s vast fortune and love for materialism show how the Original American Dream is dead. After Gatsby dies, which is a result of Tom’s lies, Nick Carraway explains, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…” (Fitzgerald 190). In this novel, Tom and Daisy represent the Modern American Dream, as they are part of the Old Money class who have a vast fortune and live in excess. Although Tom and Daisy’s lives may seem desirable and perfect due to all the wonderful…show more content…
Many must resort to competition in order to achieve the Dream, including Gatsby who is involved in bootlegging and is competing with Tom for Daisy’s love. Myrtle and the Buchanans show that the increasing desire of materialism makes the Dream almost impossible to obtain and demoralizes those who try to reach it. Fitzgerald mocks the American Dream by showing how the 1920s was the beginning of the Dream’s destruction; a dream that was once hopeful became completely damaging and impossible. In his book, The Epic of America, James Truslow Adams explains the American Dream to be "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” (Adams xvi). The narrator of this novel, Nick Carraway, shows that the original intention of the American Dream as explained by Adams is no longer in existence, thus displaying the death of the Original American Dream and all that it stood
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