Example research essay topic: The American Dream Turned Nightmare In The Great Gatsby – 682 words

There are many characters in The Great Gatsby
whose human values have been corrupted due to
corrupting influence of money. The attraction of
the American dream influenced the pursuit of
wealth, which corrupts the character morality. The
characters believe the American dream is nothing
else than glamorous material wealth, which in
essence will set them apart from the rest of lower
class society. The pursuit of this American dream
produced nothing but problems for the characters.
The American dream of happiness and individualism
has turned into the mere pursuit of wealth. The
Great Gatsby is a perfect example of how the
pursuit of wealth corrupts the characters
morality. The American dream is so attractive to
the characters, that they will do anything in
order to achieve this vast wealth.

Jay Gatsby
believes he must become wealth in order for him to
impress his love and ex-fianc Daisy Buchanan.
Since he has been in the lower class when he first
met Daisy, Daisy didn’t want to commit to a
relationship, yet still vowed to wait until Gatsby
was discharged from the army before marrying him.
After the war Gatsby’s moral values had changed
and he became involved in the bootlegging of
alcohol in order to earn the money needed to
impress Daisy. He lied to Daisy about how he
earned his wealth and become known as dishonest.
Myrtle’s values are also corrupted through the
pursuit of wealth. She marries George, a poor man
in the valley of ashes where the quality of life
is substandard. She believes that George “is a
gentleman, she thought he knew something about
breeding but he wasn’t fit to lick her shoe”(39).
Myrtle is upset at her husband’s “constant
infidelity”(17). She believes she can get away
from a lower class lifestyle by having a romantic
relationship with a citizen of the East Egg.
Myrtle begins an affair with Tom in order to feel
separated from her lower class affiliates. Myrtle
succumbs to disloyalty in order to pursue a
wealthy lifestyle.

Daisy is dishonest and disloyal
in her pursuit of wealth. She promises Gatsby that
her love for him is unconditional, and that she
will wait for him to come back from the war to
marry him. Instead she decides to marry Tom
Buchanan while Gatsby is away at war. She marries
Tom because of his looks and his established upper
class lifestyle but “never loved him”(116). In
doing this, she crushes Gatsby’s heart. Tom and
Daisy’s relationship is very shallow which she
believes comes with “marrying such a brute of a

The characters believe the American
dream is nothing else than glamorous material
wealth, which in essence will set them apart from
the rest of the lower class society. Gatsby
believes that if he becomes “successful”, Daisy
will fall back in love with him. When Gatsby gains
success he brags to Daisy about how rich he’s
gotten, he even has “men in England who buy him
clothes and sends him a selection”(93). Gatsby is
very proud of his wealth and shows off his house
which “catches the light very well “(95). Gatsby
is so hung up on winning back Daisy’s love; he
doesn’t care if Daisy is only interested in his
material wealth. Gatsby overlooks the reason why
Daisy is interested in him once again because he
will do anything to be with her even throwing
“lavish parties”(19).

Jordan Bakers image and
values are based around the material wealth others
have. She believes that when you are in possession
of wealth you can be rude and inconsiderate.
“Jordan is very snobby”(13) and she uses her
“pleasing contemptuous”(19) looks in order to get
away with things (cheating to win a golf
tournament) which will make her wealthy. As long
as she stays wealthy she is able to treat people
the way she pleases which is her way of setting
her apart from the rest of society. Daisy believes
that love can not occur if not accompanied through
a solid financial background. Daisy once loved
Gatsby but her urge for material wealth was much
greater than her love for him..

Research essay sample on The American Dream Turned Nightmare In The Great Gatsby