Pursuing a Dream

The Cost of

Sacrificing Relationships

Everyone has dreams, only some go out and achieve them. When you chase a dream it consumes you and becomes all you can see, causing you to lose sight of what you already do have. Those who pursue their dreams sacrafice a lot for their goal, mainly relationships. The Great Gatsby, Pursuit of Happyness, Mark Zuckerberg, Nickel and Dimed, and Inside Job all show proof of this. People chasing something do whatever is needed to make it there, even if that means leaving their morals behind and doing things that they know could potentially hurt those close to them.

Starting Over

In the book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, author Barbara Ehrenreich, starts a completly new life in Key West florida looking for a new home as well as a good job but getting by through working low wage ones. In the pursuit of her new life, Barbara cut out all existing relationships she had from where she first livedin order for her to pursue her dream elsewhere where she had only a handful of relationships. She got a small house and worked hard doing what she needed to in order to hopefuly become more successful. In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carroway does exactly this but in a different location did as he pursued his own job in an unfamiliar place. These people lost all the relationships they had in order to start over.


In the movie Inside Job, the employees did whatever was needed for their own personal gain in the pursuit of their dream. The cost of which was sacraficing personal and profesional realtionships. In psychology, there is a phenominom called the Mere Exposure Effect which states that people becaome more comfortable with things through exposure and familiarity, no matter how they started out. The Great Gatsby and Inside job both have evidence of this effect. The people did not start out bad but after clawing their way to the top in pursuit of their goals, you may realize they become corrupted and slightly morally lower than they began. The lies to clients about ratings in Inside job created a dominoe effect where lies led to more lies and deception about cash flow and mindlessly throwing away money on the corporate side like the parties at Gatsby's house. The people become used to this kind of behavior and their relationships, personal and professional crumble into meaningless connections until they disappear entirely.

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Relationships are something that commonly are scaraficed for the purpose of purusing a dream. Countless success stories attest to this. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and youngest billionaire alive. Zuckerberg did what was needed in order to achieve his dream but lost his friends in the process. His classmates despised him, his girlfriend left him, and his cofounder abandoned the company. On top of that, a number of lawsuits followed his success from people who once cared about him. Despite creating a social hub designed to build friendships, Mr. Zuckerberg lost all of his and was left on his own in the end. Nick Carroway goes through a similar experience in The Great Gatsby, his one remaining reative moves away with no forwarding address or warning and his best friend is killed.


When your dream is all you can see and success is all you think about, people tend to take risks out of desperation to achieve their goals. Chris Gardner (portrayed by Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness) is one who took multiple risks like Jay Gatsby. Both started their lives with less than they desired. Gatsby took a risk by leaving home and establishing his own life at such a young age because of his passion to make money and raise his status, he even lies about how he gets his money saying his “family all died and [he] came into a great deal of money” (Fitzgerald 52). Chris Gardner took a risk when he saw a potentially profitable item and wasted all his money on it. To make up for their risks, Gatsby starts working for and copying the mannerism of a very wealthy man in order to establish himself. Gardner recovers from his failed leap of faith by working as hard as he could and taking another, he takes a nonpaid internship that could possibly land him a very lucritive job and ultimately succeeds.

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Ehrenreich, Barbara. "Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting By in America." Barbara

Ehrenreich. N.p., 2001. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.


Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.

"Inside Job." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.

Read It and Weep. Dir. Paul Hoen. By Patrick Clifton. Perf. Kay Panabaker and Danielle

Panabaker. 2006.

The Pursuit of Happyness. Dir. Gabriele Muccino. Prod. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal,

Steve Tisch, James Lassiter, and Will Smith. By Steve Conrad. Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2006. Wiggins, John. "The Pursuit of Happyness." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 07 Jan.2014.

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