The Importance Of Happiness In The Great Gatsby

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Every individual runs towards a dream, towards a goal, a chance to achieve true happiness. A happiness which differs for every person, based on who they are, their values and background. Nevertheless, happiness is something that gives satisfaction and completion to someone’s life, something that factors such as money cannot give, no matter what we think. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald criticizes the constraints thrusted upon women as dictated by the society stereotypes in the 1920s, and shows how internalizing and adhering to societal values, imprisons the individual and strips them of the qualities that allows them to attain the happiness that they desire. This is seen in Myrtle, who in order to pursue her dreams of wealth, summons her downfall…show more content…
To a woman who had seen the hardships faced by the poor and had compared it to the lavish and seemingly perfect lifestyles of the rich, Myrtle had found her source of supposed happiness through the American Dream. By having a fortune, Myrtle had thought she could overcome any dissatisfaction, not realising that money had its own cost to pay. Initially, Myrtle had believed that hard work could land her what she wanted. She had believed in the prospect of the American Dream being attained through work and determination as any other impoverished person did. However, the society’s opinions of women was internalized by Myrtle due to growing up with such notions, and these views had shaped her own. Therefore, Myrtle believed that the work had to be done by a male in a time when women could not achieve anything substantial on their own. Furthermore, she felt pressured to find a man, as it was considered that a woman’s main achievement in life was to settle with the most prospective suitor. This lack of self-worth, influenced by the society, is what had led Myrtle to Wilson, a man who she believed “knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick [her] shoe". When Myrtle let Wilson achieve her goal on her behalf, she had lost control of her future. She proves to be the female stereotype in the society of that time, a woman who derives her own goals only with the aid of a man, and it eventually ascertains to be the cause of her
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