The Red Badge Of Courage


The Red Badge Of Courage Essay, Research Paper


The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald embodies may

themes, however the most salient one relates to the

corruption of the American Dream. The American Dream is

that each person no matter who he or she is can become

successful in life by his or her own hard work. The

dream also embodies the idea of a self-sufficient man,

an entrepreneur making it successful for himself. The

Great Gatsby is about what happened to the American

dream in the 1920s, a time period when the dream had

been corrupted by the avaricious pursuit of wealth. The

American dream is sublime motivation for accomplishing

ones goals and producing achievements, however when

tainted with wealth the dream becomes devoid and hollow.

When the American dream was pure, motivation and

ambition were some key aspects of the pure American

dream. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water

in a curious way…and distinguished nothing except a

single green light”(page.26). It shows how Gatsby was

striving for the his goal and trying to accomplish it.

When the dream was pure, motivation and self-discipline

were present. This quote talks about Gatsby’s daily

agenda and how in the earlier days he upheld the pure

American Dream “No wasting time at Shafters, No more

smoking or chewing, Read one improving book or magazine

per week, Save $3.00 per week, Be better to parents”

(page 181-182). Nick says “I became aware of the old

island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes-a

fresh green breast of the new world”(page 189). This

quote shows the pristine goals of where the

possibilities were endless and one could accomplish

anything through hard work.

The American dream became corrupted, its main aims

were wealth and power. Gatsby became corrupted because

his main goal was to have Daisy. The only reason he

want Daisy was that she symbolized wealth and took on

the characteristics of money. “Her voice is full of

money”(page127). Gatsby needed to have an enormous

mansion so he could feel confident enough to try to win

Daisy. ” That huge place over there? Do you like it? I

love it” (page95). The tainted dream was so empty that

having accouterments of wealth could even incite

feelings of love. “He’s the man who fixed the World

Series back in 1919″ ( page 78). The dream became so

focused on money that any means of a obtaining it were

condoned, even if it were unscrupulous.

Result of American dream being corrupted is that

the motivation and ambition were gone and the dream is

left with the pursuit of an empty goal. This is

displayed when Daisy says “Do you always watch for the

longest day of the year and then miss it? I always

watch for the longest day of the year and miss it.”

This quote shows the lack of motivation and meaningless

to which the empty rich society has turned to. Another

result of this corrupted dream is that the dearth of the

idea that each person no matter who he or she is can

become successful in life by his or her own hard work.

This ignorance is shone when Tom says “The idea is if we

don’t look out the white race will be utterly submerged.

It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved” (page


Ignorance and the ideal of looking out for oneself is

prevalent. Where as in the pure American Dream striving

to accomplish ones’ own personal goal is ones main


One should use the American Dream for motivation

and hope that one can achieve ones personal goal. The

American Dream should not be centered on money and other

materialistic things but on a real goal.

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