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The True American Dream In his novel The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald paints a vivid portrait of life in the Jazz Age Taking place in between World War I and the Great Depression people during this time were all trying to achieve their own version of the American Dream If it meant becoming rich as quick as possible or the old fashioned way everyone had their eyes set on the same prize money People would do anything to get it and morals were all but lost in this frenzy to become rich Fitzgerald uses his novel as a way to demonstrate and criticize different versions of the American Dream He gives us a variety characters and with each of these characters he offers different means of achieving the American Dream Although many of the characters in the novel have corrupted views of how this dream should be achieved Fitzgerald does offer one person who goes about things the right way His means of becoming rich being corrupt but Jay Gatsby justifies his actions by having honorable reasons for wanting to achieve the American Dream Fitzgerald uses Tom Buchanan to illustrate the wrong way to go about achieving the American Dream Tom does so by surrounding himself with material possessions Living what many would consider a perfect life Tom Buchanan seems to have everything money a fancy house and a beautiful wife Although he may have all these things it is the mentality that goes with having them that makes you happy and not the actual ownership of them Treating everything as a possession Tom bases all of his happiness on what he does or does not have Tom even treats his relationships with women as thought they are possessions As you would smash a punching bag or a pillow Tom takes out his aggression on Myrtle his lover Tom broke her nose with his open hand 41 This view on the treatment of
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