The American Dream And The False Idea Of Social Mobility In The Great Gatsby
The American Dream is defined as the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. The American Dream is fantasized by authors in order to critique and provoke interesting analysis and research based off of the time period such as Fitzgerald in the 1920’s. In Fitzgerald’s novel, “The Great Gatsby” he demonstrates that the American Dream is an unattainable strive for something that can never be satisfied in one’s life. Fitzgerald uses fame to demonstrate the flaws in the American Dream as well as detrimental factors of unhealthy relationships. Fitzgerald utilizes symbolism of social mobility to demonstrate the harsh judgement involved in the social hierarchies of the 1920’s. Fitzgerald expresses his views of the caustic nature of gender inequality through his characters. All in all the numerous challenges that face society contribute to the critique that the American dream is just that – a dream never to be realized.
Social mobility is the the transformation, in most cases an upward climb between classes based off education and wealth. Studies prove and suggest that “Americans’ beliefs about upward mobility are overly optimistic. Many researchers have been known to discover that education is the most advanced way of “leveling out the playing field’’ a is a concept about fairness, not that each player has an equal chance to succeed, but that they all play by the same set of rules. ”This further represents this constant perseverance towards the ideal concept of The American Dream that can never be met. Social mobility is one fictional idea that is put into perspective. In Fitzgerald’s novel, “The Great Gatsby” Jay Gatz is an incredulous character who represents social mobility and strives for the American Dream. With researchers proving that social mobility has a substantial influence on the The American Dream, but with this concept of social mobility will always be hungry for more. It has been proven that Americans have this scheme of hope in The American Dream, is shattered with the false idea of social mobility being the access way into it.
Throughout the many researched definitions of the American Dream, on concrete aspect of it is equality. What comes with equality is a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to certain social goods and services. In the 1920’s gender equality was rendered at the bottom of the food chain. According to past stereotypes of the female species, has been rendered the weak and damsel in distress facade, therefore in many 1920’s many authors such as Sujata Massey and “The Widows of Malabar Hill” who drew attention to harsh conditions women had to go threw when their husbands were not there. Another ahead of his time author includes F. Scott Fitzgerald, who some interpret as him being the first feminist of his time. In “The Great Gatsby” Fitzgerald appears to present women as being objects for men to possess and repress as they please, in doing so, he highlights it as being an issue which needs to be resolved. Gender equality is represented in novels as a common goal for women and men to have the same power to shape society and control the lives of their community. According to the “Gender Equality Index” by the Feminist Economics, females in this era lived in an environment were female intelligence is not valued and the subservience to males is valued. Daisy’s subordinate status, in her relationship with Tom allows her to understand that it is unacceptable for women to defy the value of female absence in their male phallocentric society. With Fitzgerald’s critique on the male dominant society and the negative connotations that persevere through toxic masculinity it undermines the idea of The American Dream. As stated in the beginning the American Dream had freedom of opportunity for everyone, assumingly meaning both genders which would obliterate the idea of the American Dream. No matter what The American Can Dream could never be fully satisfied if there was an inequality through the relationship because that means there is an inadequate distribution of power with is means to an unhealthy relationship which is the opposite of the American Dream.
Marriage is an important social institution that unites two individuals but also binds two families or groups. Marriage, therefore, has been considered a social reproduction or strategy for alliance. In many cases and many centuries in the past the quickest way to move up in a social hierarchy is through marriage, but also the quickest way to deteriorate from a higher social class is marriage. A constant in the American Dream shows a healthy relationship in marriage and matrimony. According to The Faulkner Journal, in the Sanctuary, Marriage, and the status of Women in the 1920’s, develops the change in many 1920’s leaders who were adjusting the standard for women, men and the marital status of the roaring twenties. Many view the patriarchal attempt to forcing toxic masculinity on a group of people is through marriage and starting a family. The American Dream includes this view of a white picket fence with a happy couple and two kids, a boy and a girl, an the dog all playing in the backyard. This fantasy with the perfect picture often leads people to at a young age to fall into toxic relationships anticipating for the perfect picture relationship. F Scott Fitzgerald implies how toxic relationships have a major impacts on everyone surroundings life. If Tom and Daisy had a healthy relationship some might say that Jay Gatsby be alive, or George might still have Myrdle. Such toxic relationships represented in “The Great Gatsby” further show the consciousness of the apparatus of toxic marriages and relationships.
Throughout the definition of the American Dream there has been a constant of fighting through barriers to move through economic and social mobility often leading to fame and the consequences of wealth as the detriment to a person’s morality. With such an intense vision of always being above others and the constant strive to have the most money to express their dominance over others. Another resource used to identify the negative aspects of fame is the wealth effect. The wealth effect is a theory suggesting that when the value of equity portfolios are on the rise because of accelerating stock prices, individuals feel more comfortable and confident about their wealth, which will cause them to spend more. Substantial wealth drives often time many people of the lower class act with carelessness and sometimes illegal acts in order to create their personal American Dream. Fame and wealth often comes at a price of one’s morals and self recognition.
The American Dream is unattainable. It is reflective of the financial realities a lot of people face in the past centuries. Many keep the drive for the American Dream alive as that is their drive for their future, otherwise everyone would stay stagnant in a constant circle of no satisfactory results. They are treading water, but their income is not translating into solid financial security. With researchers stating the major obstacles that stand in the way of someone never obtaining the American Dream. Our nation is constructed with the idea which grip the way of people everywhere live, limiting opportunities for many, and destroying the American Dream.
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