The American Dream In The Great Gatsby Essay

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Paul Laurence Dunbar, an influential poet, once stated “we wear the mask that grins and lies.” (Source B). This mask symbolizes the American Dream. A widely shared idea of wealth and luxury, however, a darker truth looks within. The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates to readers the hollowness and decline of the American Dream. Some may say that each generation molds the American Dream, but the deceit and desolation still lingers. The Great Gatsby reveals a societal truth, showing how the American Dream deteriorated in the 1920’s because of its corruption, inaccessibility, and deception hiding inside its lavish lure of wealth. When the American Dream comes to mind, one often thinks of wealth, believing that money will solve their problems. Money provides food, clothing, shelter, and leisure, but money doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. An article written by David Kamp and published in Vanity Fair states that “the term has often been interpreted to mean “making it big” or “striking it rich.”’ (Source E). Since the inception of the American dream, wealth has been the primary pursuit, leaving behind happiness and freedoms. Because of this, the American dream should be shaped by the individual rather than revolving around the concept of affluence. Characters like Tom and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby have more money than they need. However, this surplus leaves them hollow and empty, ungrateful and unappreciative for what they have. At the Krueger 1
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