The Great Gatsby takes place during the 1920 s and it is a time when the old values and the new are in a battle with one another. The Great Gatsby has characters who believe in the American dream and those who are corrupting the dream in prosuit of wealth and personal gain.
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The character, Nick is the perfect example of those with the faith in the existence of the dream. He is part of the group who believes in the old values and the belief that ones own hard work will at the end deliver rewards. He comes east to experience the new and exciting world of New York, yet he does not seem to belong to this part of the world. He although comes form a wealthy family chooses to make his own fortune
He All my aunts and uncles talked it over as if they were choosing a prep-school for me and finally said Why ye-es with very grave, hesitant faces. (P.7)
One the other hands though, Jay Gatsby is the dream killer who is involved with men like Meyer Wolfsheim. Wolfsheim was the man responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series. Gatsby has committed crimes in order to win love of Daisy. It is strange that Nick a man who despises men like Gatsby at the same time admires him.
It is what prayed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men. (P.6-7)
Daisy and Jordan are also characters who contribute in the corruption of the dream. Jordan is the dishonest golfer and opportunist who will do whatever it takes to be successful. Daisy is the woman who uses her money and beauty inside of her mind to achieve things.
She says, I m glad it s a girl. And I hope she ll be a fool that s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool. (P.21)
Daisy does not believe a woman who uses her mind will get anywhere in the world. The American dream is dead for her due to her thinking.