American Dream and the Great Gatsby

Category: Literature
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The American Dream has changed since Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. Now, most people think the American Dream means happiness through money and what it can buy. Whereas Fitzgerald thought it meant happiness in any way possible. If you asked me what I believed the American Dream was before reading this book I would have said that I did not know what the American Dream was but after looking it up I would have thought it meant happiness through money. Now after reading this book I think that the American Dream is the idea of happiness being attainable for everyone in any form whether it be money or finding someone you really love.

The American Dream is portrayed all around us in media such as people posting quotes or facts on social media outlets such as Instagram and Facebook to try and help you live a happy and successful life. Many of these people are trying to help you have a happy and successful life by giving you advice on how to make improvements on how your life is now. Some of these people use famous people’s speeches to try and inspire people who read them to do something extraordinary. There are also many advertisements on tv or on billboards relating to ways that can help improve your happiness. These advertisements use famous people to promote their products by making it seem like that famous person got to where he or she is thanks to that product. Most of these advertisements and posts influence us to believe that the American Dream is gained by having a lot of money and being able to buy the best things. They do this by showing us some of our favorite famous people using the product so that we think we need it. Some of the advertisements and posts do influence us into wanting to look for true love and find happiness through love.

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Many people get their impression of the American dream based on their idols. For most people, these idols are famous people with lots of money such as actors or sports players. These idols are the people we look up to and hope to be like which is why many people today like to believe that money and fame is the only way to happiness. Some people do look up to different kinds of people such as Keanu Reeves who lives like any other person he takes the subway, eats at regular restaurants, and talks to people on the street even though he is a millionaire. The people who idolize people like Keanu Reeves realize that you do not need money to live out the American Dream.

Though for everyone the ultimate goal is being happy different people think that this goal is achieved in different ways. For many people, the ultimate goal is achieved by becoming famous, rich, and having everyone like them. This is a good way to reach the goal but it is hard because many people do not realize how difficult it is to reach the goal this way. Another way people try to reach this goal is by finding friends that like them and a significant other. This goal is still difficult but fills these people with more genuine happiness than people who are famous and rich.

Old money vs. new money still exists today. There are still many people inheriting money from family members, but there are also people making a name for themselves. Three famous people who inherited their fortune are the Walton kids Alice, Rob, and Jim. their father Sam Walton founded Walmart and then gave it to his kids when he died. One famous example of new money is Mark Zuckerberg who became a billionaire when he Co-founded Facebook.

The American Dream is still achievable by today’s standards but it is much harder. Today many people expect happiness to come from money and fame which is harder to achieve than finding love or another way to be happy. Though many kids think that it will be easy to make money because they are the smartest or most athletic in their class. They will go to a job interview or a tryout for a sports team and see people who may be smarter or more athletic than them and may not get the job or make it on the team. Then they would be really sad or annoyed and not be living the American Dream.

For most people, today morals and values change based on what they like. One such example is people who like sports and are athletic may have morals and values that revolve around sports like fairness so you play fair or courage so you can play even if you might get hurt. Another example is people who like learning and are smart may have morals and values that revolve around learning such as acceptance so you can take in new info and views or perseverance so that they can keep learning new things.

This mindset impacts society because most people are super focused on expanding what they are already good at so they have a better chance of becoming rich and famous through that. So instead of improving in other areas and having a better chance if your favorite thing fails to bring you happiness you only have that one choice. Too many people today do not think about the difficulties of the future instead they think of how they will make a lot of money and become famous and think it will be super easy.

Obviously, the American dream has changed in many ways. As far as we know it may never switch back to the way it was when Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. In fact, it might keep changing and changing forever. Either way, there will always be some people who believe the same thing as Fitzgerald which was that the American dream was achievable by everyone and it does not have to come from money or fame it could also come from love and friendships.

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American Dream and The Great Gatsby. (2019, Jan 03). Retrieved from