The Great Gatsby - How the American Dream Is False

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Alternate Backgrounds First impressions give a glimpse of a person’s personality and general demeanor. However, first impressions are only a glance and can easily be manufactured. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a wealthy man named Jay Gatsby presents himself in an abundance of ways, but the novel’s characters soon learn that his outward appearance is forged. Having been born into a poor lifestyle, Gatsby’s “American Dream” is based around wealth and fame. This novel is set during the ‘Roaring Twenties’ era, or in other words, the 1920s. This piece of literature is also being told from the point of view of Nick Carraway, a new Eastern broker. Jay Gatsby attained his fortune through bootlegging, or the manufacturing and distribution of alcohol. This rapid and illegal acquisition transformed a poor child into a rich man who was forced to fake an outward appearance. However, Gatsby claims he was born into wealth, educated at Oxford, and traveled the world for his own personal interest. Over time, Gatsby proves that, though it is not always the case, an upper class demeanor requires a deceptive personality to cover up the past. Tom Buchanan, a former member of Nick’s social club at Yale, is also a wealthy and powerful figure in this 1922, American society. His demeanor consists of the average amount of sexism and racism; the usual rich attitude during this era. Unlike Gatsby, Tom’s persona does not require a plagiaristic cover-up. He blends in with the rich clique of West Egg, and in conclusion is straight-forward when it comes to his background and personality. His family, “were enormously wealthy--even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach” (10). Tom has an authentic background and evidence to back up the reason for his abundance of wealth. However, Tom’s American Dream is to find something more than wealth, hence the reason for
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