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The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

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Many people say wealth is the key to measuring success; they are wrong. Success should be measured upon ones happiness, the friends one has and if their goals in life have been attained. It is like saying you can never buy happiness. The American dream is often considered being affluent, but once one becomes rich- if ever- that's all he ever gains and won't be truly happy or successful. This is confirmed time after time again in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and in other readings and movies; it has in all probability been proven in your own experiences also. Success is like a rubber-band ball where you keep building and building upon it in hopes to make it a truly grand item to boast.

One main aspect in determining and retaining success is by keeping those true friends that would have ones back in a heartbeat, the type of friends who would help one out of any situation. Nick, the main character in the novel The Great Gatsby, learns that the people whom he thought were his good friends, in turn really weren't and expresses this with the line "They were careless people, they smashed things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made (page 179)." It is also rather important to keep in good standings with the people who raised them and cared for them- their family. These people will be if not already the only ones whom one can turn to if they have no friends who can help. Robert Ramirez states in paragraph 12 of "The Barrio"," The feeling of family, a rare and treasurable sentiment, pervades and accounts for the inability of the people to leave." He says that even though the Barrio is such a downtrodden area that some people don't want to leave because of the strong sense of family and kinship. So they try to build up their own "rubber-band ball" with what they have and the strong family bonds they gain from staying in close contact with them.

Many people would like to think and even do think that money equals happiness; although, the fact of the mater is; it doesn't. One great example is in Gatsby on page 81," Your place looks like the worlds fare,' 'Does it?" Nick was commenting on how spectacular Gatsby's house looks but he doesn't really notice or care because his mind is on other things. Tom also has a moment where he realizes this fundamental ideal on page 125," His wife and mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control."



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