The Artificial Dream In The Great Gatsby

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The Artificial Dream The American Dream- the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. However, does “every US citizen” really have an equal opportunity? In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, the characters are limited to social mobility by the gap between wealthy and less wealthy which is expressed through “Old Money” characters and “New Money” characters. Furthermore, the novel makes a naturalism argument about the difficulty of achieving the American Dream and the ability of social mobility. To begin, Gatsby is extremely wealthy and flaunts his money, while Nick is less wealthy and more conservative with his money. Before he…show more content…
Third of all, Myrtle symbolizes restricted social mobility when she struggle to move up in her social ranking. When Nick is at the apartment Tom bought for Myrtle, he states, “Her laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment and as she expanded the room grew smaller around her until she seemed to be revolving on a noisy, creaking pivot through the smoky air,” (Fitzgerald 30). Nick observes a change in Myrtle’s appearance and attitude when she is the apartment in front of Tom. She is depicted as someone so desperate to seem richer than they actually are. This shows that Myrtle is incapable of social mobility and can only pretend to be wealthy with Tom’s help. Myrtle and Tom get into an argument about Daisy and she begins to repeat her name in front of Tom. Tom grows angry at Myrtle, “Making a short deft movement Tom Buchanan broke her nose with his open hand” (Fitzgerald 37). When Myrtle begins to push her luck with Tom, it results in a hurtful consequence. She realizes that Tom is violent and doesn’t actually care for her because she is just another disposable mistress in his eyes. This further shows that Myrtle is unable to achieve her American Dream even with the help of Tom and his money. The announcing of Daisy’s name, provoking injury, foreshadows Myrtle’s death when she encounters Daisy again later on. To conclude, the unattainability of Myrtle’s dream of becoming rich and prestigious is expressed when she is injured by Tom and killed by Daisy later
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