The Great Gatsby
In my English class our teacher made us pick a classic and I picked The Great Gatsby because I had too. In the beginning I was having a rough time connecting and understanding the book. The more I read the book I thought of the American dream and what my American dream would be. For those who don’t know what The Great Gatsby is, it is about a millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who is unhappy with his life because he cannot be with the woman he loves, Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, the narrator, is Gatsby’s neighbor and later in the book becomes Gatsby’s good friend. When Daisy and Gatsby were on their way back to Gatsby’s place, Daisy accidently hits and kills a woman named Myrtle. Gatsby’s love makes him protect Daisy and take the blame for the accident. When Myrtle’s husband finds out it was Gatsby’s car, he goes to Gatsby’s house and kills him.
Throughout the book you get this vibe that Gatsby is not happy. He has all the money in the world and he isn’t happy? That’s crazy! On pages 110-125, it was pretty obvious how Daisy and Gatsby felt about each other. Daisy kissed Gatsby on the lips and said I love you. Mind you Daisy has a husband and child. Daisy and Gatsby would have been together but Gatsby wasn’t rich so Daisy didn’t want to marry him. That might sound harsh, but if you live in such comfort and you change to a very hard life, it would be a hard adjustment.
While reading about Gatsby’s American dream, I started to think of my own. My American dream would be; I go to college get my dream job. I would want to have a big house somewhere where there aren’t a lot of people. I would have a husband and maybe a couple little ones running around. But would happen if I didn’t get that dream? Would my life be terrible and unhappy?
I chose this issue because I can relate to it kind of easy. I am an American and I can see what the American dream has done to some people. I look around and I see the people who have tons of money at school and see how selfish and ignorant they are. They are popular but they don’t seem happy, they seem as if they are missing something from their lives. The others who don’t have as much money and live a simpler life seem to be the happier ones and the most outgoing. The American dream is someone who works hard and gets all the riches a man could ask for. It didn’t say a happier life, it said richer life. This is what Gatsby got. He got a richer life but not a happier one.
Money only goes so far in life and then you get bored and/or lonely. We as humans, for most of us, we need love, empathy, and other emotions, not just money, money, money. I have seen what money as done to people. They become greedy and they forget what it is like to be struggling. For those who do have lots of extra money, don’t be so quick to judge those who have two jobs and are still barely making it. I give props to my dad, because he worked so hard at such a young age, he still works but he isn’t working two-three jobs in one week anymore. He still remembers what is was like to work that hard and he is always willing to help others that need it.
For those of who believe in the American dream, that dream is slowly fading away. Our unemployment rate is low and minimum wage is barely helping anyone. The said part is if we raise the minimum wage then we would have to let workers go and raise other products to balance everything out. Money and hard work is the foundation for the American dream. It’s said that hard work will make you rich. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you are barely making anything, while putting a 110% and you need to pay for rent, a car, gas, food, water, electricity, etc. you aren’t going to get anywhere. American dream was more effective years ago but in the 21st century it doesn’t work very well.
The American dream is something I have wanted too. I wanted to have lots of money. I wanted to be able to have extra cash to just spend on stuff. I started to look more into it and see all these people who are still sad and lonely with all that money. I noticed Gatsby had all the money in the world but because he didn’t have the one he loved he wouldn’t be truly happy. Yes, he could have parties and meet a ton of new girls and move on but he couldn’t. He had his heart set on Daisy and he couldn’t have her. It’s okay to live a simple and hard working life with the one you love. He had no care for money, all he wanted was her.
The American Dream
The Great Gatsby