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How does F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby represent the American dream What does the novel have to say about the condition of the American dream in the 1920s - Essay Example

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The term ‘American dream’ was coined by historian James Trustlow Adama in 1931 in reference to the allure that enticed millions of people to settle in America; nonetheless, the concept it denoted was a much older phenomenon since earlier settlers in America sought better…
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How does F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby represent the American dream What does the novel have to say about the condition of the American dream in the 1920s
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How does F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby represent the American dream What does the novel have to say about the condition of the American dream in the 1920s

This paper will explore the concept of the American dream as represented in Fitzgeralds novel The Great Gatsby by highlighting the themes such as materialism and wealth, consumption and consumer society, post-world war disillusionment, alienation and the modern American city.
Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a novel set in the fictional town of West Egg on the wealthy Long Island during the 1922 summer and narrates the story of the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his romantic passion for the pretty Daisy Buchanan. In as much as the novel encompasses the theme of a thwarted love between a man and his object of desire, over a few months through the 1922 summer, the real focus of the novel is in fact less romantic because it is a highly metaphorical reflection on the 1920s America as a nation in general and on the collapse of the American dream in particular. The 1920s American society was greatly characterized by unprecedented prosperity and material excesses as well as decadence of social and moral values as evidenced in the era’s extreme cynicism, greed alongside the pervasive pursuit of pleasure (Goldberg 2007, p.8). A reckless jubilance that fuelled the wild pervasion with decadent parties and wild jazz music as exemplified in the Great Gatsby by the opulent parties hosted by Gatsby every Saturday night eventually corrupted the purity of the American dream. Precisely, the unrestrained desire for money and immediate self-gratification that characterized the 1920s era overshadowed the more noble goals of the American society.
In the aftermath of the First World War in 1918, there was great disillusionment among the generation of young people who had taken part in the war; the devastating effects of the war they had just experienced greatly eroded the Victorian social morality ideals of the early 20th century American society. The subsequent rise of the stock market soon after the war precipitated a rapid ... Read More
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