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The Great Gatsby: Exploitation of the American Dream

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A person can spend an eternity chasing after a dream. But what happens when that dream is right in front of his face and he fails to obtain it? This exact situation takes form in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. The story concerns the ever-famous "American Dream": liberation with a promise of success and affluence in the early 1920's. During this time in history, the pursuit of happiness was the focus of the majority of Americans living in the United States. The plotline of The Great Gatsby focuses on this pursuit as shown in the three characters Jordan Baker, Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. The reader follows their lives as they go through an unforgettable summer in hopes of attaining their individual American Dream.

Jordan Baker is a wealthy woman who is quite well known through her successful professional golfing career. The narrator, Nick Carraway, first met her through his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, when he came to West Egg. Jordan is sought after by men wherever she goes and constantly has them willing to consent to her every wish. Because of this, it is quite common for her to get whatever she wants in life, regardless of the price. One could say that Jordan is living the American Dream: a lavish house, plentiful riches and a multitude of party invitations. But what exactly is the cost for her to achieve that dream? When Nick first meets Jordan, he recalls hearing her name in relation to a horrible story, but he cannot quite remember why. Midsummer, Nick remembers what was eluding him. "[S]he had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round," he recalls (Fitzgerald 57).



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