The Great Gatsby

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Krystina Cerulli

Mrs. Douglass

H. American Lit. 3

21 March 2012

1. What contrast is there between the American dream and the American reality? Discuss these contrasts in our society today, the 1920's, and in The Great Gatsby. Is the American dream a myth or a reality?

The American dream is the idea that through hard work and dedication anyone could achieve anything. However, the reality is that hard work doesn't always pay off. Today, the dream is to live comfortably, have a family, get a good education, and to get a decent job. The reality is that people get fired, jobs are hard to find, marriages come to an end, and family's part. The 1920's were a different case, it was known as the "roaring twenties". Everyone wanted to have parties, have fun, and be rich. When the war ended, many jobs opened up and money was easy to get.

Everyone believed that anyone had the potential to be successful. In The Great Gatsby, the American dream was similar. It was based on materialistic wealth. Gatsby's dream, however, was different. "His acquisition of wealth, his nebulous parties, his mysterious activities are all secondary to his purpose which is to win back his woman" (Bloom 95). Gatsby was in love with Daisy, and wanted nothing more than to be with her. He was willing to do anything for her. Daisy married Tom purely for her love of his money, which Gatsby could not provide for her when they first met. "Getting into her 'class' of society and accumulating enough wealth to be worthy of her are self-purificatory rites that he has to undergo before he can be worthy of her" (Bloom 95). When Gatsby finally did, he wanted Daisy to...