The author uses the character Gatsby symbolically to demonstrate how the American dream is corrupted. Gatsby Justas any American has this view that wealth is the solution to their problems, a sure way of getting the attention of the love of his life. With this he embarks on finding this wealth through corrupt and shady schemes. The corrupt nature of the American dream demonstrated in the book is simply a reflection of the modern society in which individuals have completely reinvented themselves such that they have become completely hollow, detached from society and from one another. It demonstrates how money minded society has become such that the only motivation is getting more money, how people are ready and willing to walk over or even destroy lives in order to get this wealth. But it is through this that the criticism of the mediocrity of the American dream in which anyone can rise comes forth if at all they work hard, problem is there is this short cutting nature that seems to corrupt the society.Through Gatsby, the folly of the American dream is proven by the society allowing materialism and corruption to prevail over the concepts of integrity and hard work. Since this particular dream remains at the core of Gatsby’s mind, it is fueled by this lust for money. This dream loses its meaning and value when the society that is symbolically represented by Gatsby starts using unethical methods of creating wealth. Thus the notion of the dream is foolish and cruel as to those who cannot live to this expectation are cast aside or trampled on. “But I didn’t call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone–he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock”. This particular quote sums up the authors thoughts on this distorted dream; Gatsby is depicted reaching for something that is rather far away and out of reach. This green light symbolizes the American dream, this idea presented is that people are always reaching for something that is much greater and cannot get. Society is yearning for this green light that is always far away thus it’s a dream that to some they would do all it takes to get to. But it isn’t only Gatsby and his lust for money that symbolized the failed notion of the American dream, the author uses a host of other characters to bring forth this idea via their roles. Take for example, Myrtle’s desire for a rich and luxurious lifestyle lures her into having an affair with the rich and prominent Tom. This specific context goes to show that people in the society are willing to do what it takes just to see this dream into fruition. In the long run her decision to sleep with Tom brings harm to her marriage thereby leading to her loss of happiness. The materialistic nature of people in the society such as Myrtle exposes the author’s thoughts on how this American dream has failed. The author presents the American dream as an ambition that is very much over the edge, “Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world, Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge, I thought; anything at all” the quote represents a very optimistic illustration of this dream that has lost meaning. It is symbolic in a manner that we see people running towards New York City owing to this unfathomable possibility in which anything can happen. This is a classic element of the American dream that contains economic possibilities that in the long run are proven to be void. The author does well to show how the American dream is a broken promise or dream that is constantly falling apart due to certain tendencies. The characters in the book bring forth the idea that society is always in constant war with itself as people such as Gatsby are on the search for wealth so as to live the dream. The impending failure of the dream is proven by how reckless the characters were in making decisions as long as the end result saw them live the dream. Trying to accomplish the dream is rather futile as society will not allow one to succeed through the right channels thus the dream fails in the end.
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