Introduction: The Illusion of the American Dream
Modern American youth are seemingly often delusional about a life filled with promise and self-satisfaction to of which they see suitable for themselves; however, this mere illusion has the capacity to tempt people to advocate towards their aspirations in life and lead them to what is believed to be the American Dream. The American Dream in the modern American youth is generally portrayed as having luxuries such as a high ranked social status, a higher level of education, having an up to the mark car or house, having a superior quantity of money, etc. In the novel, The Great Gatsby the author F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts his idea regarding the American Dream through his characters. For instance, in the novel the narrator, Nick Carraway, presents and encounters other characters such as George, Myrtle, Daisy, Tom and the protagonist Jay Gatsby. Furthermore, as the novel progresses the characters later reveal their anguished emotions regarding their lives throughout the novel. The message Fitzgerald is trying to convey is that the American Dream blinds Americans from reality and this makes it hard for them to achieve their goal and this leads to the American Dream to become almost unattainable.
The Blinding Power of Wealth and Status
For instance, how most people of high-income status are blinded by their wealth to a degree in which they don’t realize they sometimes hurt those around them. For example, within the novel The Great Gatsby, those who were blinded by their luxuries and wealth were Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Tom was a narrowminded young man around the age of thirty who once was a football player during his young years in college but was also a hypocritical and arrogant aristocrat from an economically solid family. Daisy, on the other hand, was a beautiful young woman who desired the nothing else but the status and wealth that her dear husband possessed. For example, throughout the novel, it can be seen how those in society’s high class are neither pleasant nor tenderhearted in the very least towards others. Not only are they very disapproving and judgmental of others and each other, but they also fail to see the genuine essence within an individual.
For instance, other individuals’ characteristics in how they view things, the way they act around certain people, their likes and dislikes, their personality, and much more. However, they live in such a way to boost their dominance over others of lower or equal class. For instance, in the novel, it is stated how people of “old money” are displeased and against those with “new money.” This is because the people with “old money” are families that have had money for several generations and have lived their lifeblood with money like Tom Buchanan. Meanwhile, those with “new money” are families or individuals with newly gained high status and money and are not accustomed to having such quantities of money suck like Jay Gatsby. Although families of “old money” don’t have to work throughout the novel to sustain themselves necessarily, they are still displeased with people who have obtained “new money” because it is believed they cannot have the same ideals or ways in thinking as someone with “old money,” and this leads there to be a sense of displacement and discrimination between people with different types of wealth’s.
Emotions, Obsession, and the Tragedy of Jay Gatsby
Nevertheless, not only can people be simply blinded by their wealth, but they can be blinded by pure emotions such as love, hate, anger, sadness, etc. For instance, within the novel it can be seen how the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is deeply obsessed and in love with Tom Buchanan’s wife, Daisy. Gatsby secretly integrated himself into the high social hierarchy by doing shady business solemnly to be able to impress Daisy with his wealth and make her his. In addition, Gatsby believed that he could and would change the future into the equality of the past with the past relationship he upheld with Daisy. In the past, Gatsby and Daisy could be seen as a near newborn blossoming couple that could have been somewhat prosperous; however, things did not look very bright for Gatsby because he was sent off to serve in the military which led to his relationship to break off with Daisy. Now although, they both sent letters to each other occasionally, this still wasn’t enough for their relationship to fully blossom though. Therefore, after Gatsby encounters Daisy again, he becomes completely obsessed with trying to go back to how things were before he was sent to serve for his country. This demonstrates how desperate Gatsby was to reinitiate his relationship with Daisy and how he was blinded by his emotions entirely due to his desire to possess Daisy’s love.
Greed, Satisfaction, and the Unattainable Dream
Furthermore, people may also be blinded with greed and have everything, yet never be satisfied no matter how much they have. For instance, in the novel, it can be seen how Tom Buchanan was a man with an extravagant wealth and had everything any American can dream about, yet he was never satisfied with what he had. Of course, this might have been because of the fact that Tom desperately desired to live once again his life filled with the adrenaline, he at one time had during his days as a sports enthusiast and football player in college. Nevertheless, this was probably one of the several reasons he chose to be with Myrtle, his second women, because she was a woman that gave him the same enthusiasm he once had in his younger years.
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For instance, during that time it was normal for a man to have more than one woman and how women had few to no rights. Also, people from lower family statuses would marry into families of higher status to ensure a healthy lifestyle; however, this didn’t mean that they loved the partner they were marrying because they were only doing this to better their lives in the long run. This reveals how the American Dream is not accomplishable due to how people only desire more than they already have as well as how they can be greedy about these types of things and this too reveals how the American Dream is not what people seek it out to be initially. Of course, it is understandable that not all individuals can be placed under the category of being greedy towards others that are not of the same status or class; however, in most cases statuses are used as a sort of weapon against those of a lower class or status. For example, in the essay “paradox and dream,” it can be seen how Americans contradict themselves very often either in their actions or in the words they say. The author, John Steinbeck, describes how Americans are never truly satisfied no matter what we accomplish due to our lack of seeing the reality of our own achievements and goals. Furthermore, this emphasizes how Americans lack a sense of direction when delusional about the American Dream and what lays past the line of thought that may never be seen due to how we are blinded by so many aspects in life.
Conclusion: The Modern Interpretation of the American Dream
Apart from this, one can also say that by being in a certain social tier, class, or status, you can be labeled as one of many things; however, between all those things we only label our own worth by others opinions without seeing our own value. For instance, in our modern world of today, most people in our population are inclined to either glamorize one’s material possessions or exhibition their own. Nonetheless, in several ways people correlate their own worth and value with what they possess and therefore try to impress people in a various amount of ways. Most of the time the reason may be because we want to catch someone’s attention by giving them our time, energy or kindness, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; however, in some cases others try to impress people just for the desire to feel special. Things that are considered very highly now a days would be appearance, status, knowledge, clothes, etc. For example, today’s society is heavily affected by this belief system that people use to impress others.
Society has become solely dependent on the opinions of others as to what is adequate and what is inadequate, which has tremendously hurt our society. Although most believe that by trying to impress people by what one possesses keeps others from getting to really know your inner true self, this is not always the case. For instance, in the novel “When the Rich-Poor Gap Widens, ‘Gatsby’ Becomes a Guidebook,” it can be seen how in several recent studies, being wealthy is very highly considered a majority of people’s top selection of choice when it comes to dreams related to the future, or life in general. For instance, in a large quantity of society’s today people are willing to do almost the upmost impossible in order to obtain money whether it be the right way or the wrong way. For example, within the novel Gatsby became involved with shady business with his close friend Wolfsheim in order to get to Daisy. Later, the article mentions how although people have already reached their upmost goal on receiving a large amount of money they are still seeking or desiring more than simply that. This leads people to become both greedy and blinded by their emotions which lead us to never be in near distance from the American Dream.
In summary, we can infer how the American Dream over the years has been developed even further by society itself and henceforth has become almost unattainable to most.