Lost Generation In The Great Gatsby

The 1920s was a time in history where people did their best to live lavishly and celebrate just because they can. This fact leads us into The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which is a story of the lost generation. The American Dream is the idea of how one can achieve happiness and wealth through their own hard work. Materialism is considering materialistic possessions, like expensive things, as more important than spiritual values. Both Myrtle and Daisy show examples of how the American dream makes people unhappy because of materialism. 

The first example of materialism is Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle is a lower-class woman who has a desire for a luxurious life, and because of this it leads her into having an affair with Tom. This decision harms her marriage with George, and eventually leads to her death. Myrtle has the hope and desire for a perfect, wealthy and lavish type life. When myrtle first was married to George Wilson, she was excited and figured they would be happily married. Then after, Myrtle says “The only crazy I was, was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never told me about it, and the man came after it one say when he was out…” . This quote shows how truly materialistic Myrtle is and how she did not appreciate George because he could not afford his own suit to marry her in. Myrtle sees Tom in a different way, she sees him as a man who can afford his own suit and pay for the whole wedding. Myrtle is not of the upper-class, but has her own desire to be one of them. This desire, as we find out later in the novel, ends up killing Myrtle. Myrtle dies because she was hit and killed by a luxurious car in which Daisy was driving. This is ironic in two ways because Daisy is the wife of Tom, and because Myrtle was killed by the one thing that she truly desired: wealth. Her desire to be upper class had gotten her killed because she was too materialistic.

Generally in the 1920s, Women married for money, and not love. Daisy had first thought she had love when she was with Tom, but as time goes on she only gets money. With Gatsby, Daisy had realized something that had broken her heart. When she meets Gatsby again, who she has not seen in five years, Daisy breaks down and begins to cry. “They’re such beautiful shirts, it makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.”. At this time, she realizes that she married Tom for money and not love. She figures that with Gatsby she could have married for money and love. Daisy’s desire for the American Dream had caused her happiness to diminish.

The American Dream was found significant in The Great Gatsby. It was proven in this book that the American Dream had caused corruption and outcomes that were not equal to the beginning desire because sometimes when one desires something, one can act a certain way that is not themselves and it usually does not have a positive ending. Most Characters in this novel had the desire for wealth and would do anything to achieve it, but ended up worse off. Some of these characters had failed to recognize that money cannot buy you true happiness. 

29 April 2022
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