Carelessness and American Dream in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The strong theme The American Dream, is shaped and created with these important components in mind, materialism, selfishness, and social standing.

Materialism plays one of the key components in the theme of The Great Gatsby. Nick gives a great opinion of how money corrupts, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made” Each of the characters show his or hers devotion towards what they each cherish. Daisy cherishes money and Gatsby realizes it. The novel clearly implies that, rich girls do not marry poor boys. Since Gatsby thinks money can bring him happiness, he buys the fanciest cars, the largest house, and the nicest clothes.

He has the best of everything. He has everything except the one thing he actually wants, Daisy. Gatsby shows a need and greed for Daisy s love. Oh, you want too much! She cried to Gatsby. I love you now- isn’t that enough? I can’t help what s past That quote illustrates the selfishness Gatsby s character possesses, when confronted with the fact that Daisy could love someone besides himself. Tom Buchannen, Daisy s husband, shows his greed by taking advantage of his broken marriage by having an affair. Daisy s greed is far more shallow, she marries a man she pretends to love because of the content in his wallet, cheats on him, and hurts the one person that actually loves her.

Social standing is what helps define why some of the certain characters might act in the ways they did. Jay Gatsby past was discovered to be poor; hence the reason Daisy, a rich girl, did not marry him. But instead married into the highest position, old money. Which in that standing there is only one way to look, that’s down at people, new money, to be particular. The whole novel was broken up into the small theme of rich verses poor. Even the location of the where characters lived was divided by status. The West Egg represented the new money and less exclusive, where the East Egg represented the more elite.

Unfortunately, the American Dream is not achieved in this story because of the one missing component, happiness. Any sum of fortune can’t buy you pleasure unless your fortune is happiness.

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