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Consumerism and the accompanying self-centeredness may be the final legacy of the roaring 20s During the 20s it was proven that the industrial revolution was meant to fatten mans wallet not expand his soul The selfless fervor and broad perspective that accompanied the progressive era gave way to a different ideology in which everything was a commodity and success was measured in the accumulation of these commodities This new dogma however pleasing it was in the short term eventually produced a generation of disgruntled and disillusioned writers one of which wrote what remain the most scathing critique of the era in The Great Gatsby In it he explains the paradox of consumerism it is essentially trivializing because where everything can be assigned a value nothing can transcend this mundane existence This is the unfortunate position of the hapless characters in TGG they all are locked in to seeking one goal that they believe will improve their life not based on fact but on an invented ideal Idealism that becomes warped into a selfish quest for a single goal will ultimately devour ones life because by idealizing a goal makes it unattainable yet irresistible Fitzgeralds first casualty in his merciless depiction of errant self-interest is Toms mistress Myrtle She is a casualty because she is caught in a situation to which there is no escape she cannot ever become part of Toms social group nor can she return to her current marriage She has become nothing more than an automaton blindly stuck to her faith that if she persists in courting Tom he will eventually marry her There is a dual irony here first of all it is apparent that Tom will never marry her Their relationship has none of the foundations of marriage nor will it ever because it based on Toms need to dominate and Myrtles willingness and perhaps need to be dominated The second irony is that even if Myrtles plan were
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