When it comes to succeeding in life or achieving your dreams, you have to sacrifice your values in order to gain the greater reward.

What is Value?

1. The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

2. A person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.

Dollar Value

A pattern is displayed from "The Great Gatsby", "Inside Job", and " Greed is Good", in which money is the key component that the authors and characters are chasing after. In "The Great Gatsby", from Daisy to Jay Gatsby to Tom Buchanan, and especially on the East Coast, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted the American Dream. Even though these characters are just fictional, their values have faded away to the background. Gatsby’s dream of "loving Daisy" is ruined by the difference in their respective social statuses, his resorting to crime to make enough money to impress her, and the rampant materialism that characterizes her lifestyle (Fitzgerald 118). Daisy gives up the love of her life to gain the power and wealth of the old aristocracy with her husband, Tom, whom she doesn't really love. Tom ends up losing himself by trying to beat Gatsby because of love and money and ends up "shooting" Gatsby (Fitzgerald 162). The feud between Gatsby and Tom as a whole teaches us that sometimes, life isn't just a black and white picture. That we, as the readers, have to decide whether the American Dream is really worth it because we might be sacrificing more than we bargained for. Black and white isn't just visible in the pages of a book but also in the movies. In "Inside Job", a compelling story, illustrates the real corruption behind Wall Street and the effects that money can have on people. From "greedy network of swindlers, mobsters, S&L executives, and con men", these individuals help function these huge multi-billion dollar industries by stealing, creating investment hit-and-runs, "triggering a global financial crisis" and even degrading their own people in order to achieve a higher rank in pay (Ferguson 3), While "each crisis has caused more damage" to the world, the industries have made "more and more money" (Ferguson 8). Money, money, money is all that business people seem to care about. At least that's the case for the people on Wall Street. Lost in the fight to get to the top, several companies, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lyche, and many more have caused a riot in the economic system. Along with corrupt people on Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, in "Greed is Good", simply wants more money. He is willing to lie to show that " greed-- for a lack of a better term-- is good", when in reality it is destructive (Gekko 34).

These stories depict that people lusting and idolizing over a higher dollar value in society have lost their true value of who they are as people. Their passion to be at the top has completely destroyed their values of themselves because of the gruesome scandals and the way that they put others down.

Social Value

Sometimes it's more about who you are as a person instead of someone you want to be.

Nick loses himself in order to fit into the social bubble that Gatsby and Daisy are in, only to realize that it's not always as pretty and glamorous on the inside as it looks from the outside. Jordan Baker was one on the outside but manipulative and snakelike on the inside. She is dishonest, cheats, and bends the truth in order to gain access into the Upper part of society. Both Nick and Jordan were "Westerners" who were just trying to fit into the "Easterner" lifestyle (Fitzgerald 178). Just like fitting in, Rosalind states in "Queen Bees and Wannabes", a non-fiction girl book (original version of Mean Girls), that most girls get caught up in being in the "in-crowd" that they lose all their values (Wiseman 13). They decide to ditch the "innocent girl" that they once were for the image of "popularity" and social status (Wiseman 28). Wiseman teaches why these behaviors are "appropriate" for girls but not condoned because of the lowering of self-esteem (Wiseman 10). In order to fit into society, Gaby Rodriguez decides to fake being pregnant just to gain popularity and live up to her family traditions. In "The Pregnancy Project", Rodriguez becomes a "teen mom" to fit into the social norm of "other's expectations" of her (Rodriguez 20).

In the end, everybody loses respect for each other because of the fact that all of their values have been buried deep inside the corruption of chasing a dream that is unreachable. These characters show that who they once were, were better off than someone that they are trying to be or please. They want to be known, but not in a good way. These people are seeking after social value by losing their own true value.

Mean Girls - Trailer
The Pregnancy Project Lifetime Movie Sneak Peek

The Real Value

The real value in life is to be the person who is true to him or her self and someone that you someday want to meet. The more you chase after something that doesn't belong to you in the first place, the more you will become the person who once despised. In the end, all these stories show us that people are willing to seek after whatever they want, without realizing that they are losing themselves along the way. It all comes down to what are you really willing to give up in your life to get that ultimate dream. Chasing a dream can come down to losing yourself and what you believe in.

Work Cited

Fitzgerlad, F Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.

Gekko, Gordon. Greed is Good. American Rhetoric, 2001. Print.

Rodriguez, Gaby. The Pregnancy Pact. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012. Print.

Wiseman, Rosalind. Queen Bees and Wannabes. New York: Crown, 2002. Print.

Inside Job
. Dir. Charles Ferguson. Perf. Matt Damon. Sony Pictures, 2010. DVD.

Mean Girls. Dir. Mark Waters. Perf. Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey, Rachel McAdams, Amy Poehler. Paramount, 2004. DVD.

The Pregnancy Project. Dir. Norman Buckley. Perf. Alexa PenaVega, Walter Perez, Sarah Smyth, Sarah Strange. LifeTime, 2012. DVD.