The Sacrifice of Freedom
The Cost to Pursue a Dream
Freedom can relate to many things. Pursuing a dream takes away the time of someone's life, giving that person less time to do what they like. Dreams can also take away the moral values of someone, meaning that they must sacrifice their integrity and honesty. Whatever it may be, dreams will always regulate the free will of human beings in some way or form.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is an early 20th century book that reflected the dreams of Americans. In order to pursue his dream to re-unite his true love, Daisy, Jay Gatsby waited "almost five years" (Fitzgerald 101). The biggest aspect to pursue this dream was time. Gatsby felt obligated to make his dream come true, but sacrificed his freedom. In this time, Gatsby could have started a family, travel the world, and do good in his life, however this dream took his freedom away to do these kinds of things.
A documentary, Inside Job, explored the economic crisis of 2008 in which Wall Street stockholders and companies took advantage of the economic system to make money quick and easy. Although freedom was not a major cost to make large quantities of money in a short amount of time, it was still an aspect. Other than time being a factor of pursuing this kind of dream, the businessmen and businesswomen who made this kind of money and caused the crisis have to live with knowing what they did to the rest of the country. These people might now suffer of anxiety, or sympathy to those who were effected, and no one must live with an unclear mind. The freedom to have good morals was given up through these actions. This idea is supported in a speech given by Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street (1987). Eventually, Gekko gets to the point that "greed is right." The businessmen and businesswomen of the economic crisis of 2008 directly reflected greed. "The tally comes in at $30 trillion," as explained by Brian O'Connell in his article Wall Street's Great Recession Cost us All $30 Trillion. They made millions of dollars for themselves, while causing millions of Americans to lose their jobs and wealth. In order for these people to achieve their dreams to make plenty of money, they had to be greedy. Their freedom to be moral was taken away.
In an excerpt from Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, Ehrenreich explores how she first started to provide a living for herself. In order to start this new life, Ehrenreich left her old life behind. This also occured to Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, who left his western life and morals behind to start a new life in New York. For Ehrenreich, waitressing was "something [she'd] like to avoid," and she also wanted a job that required her skills (Ehrenreich 4). Ehrenreich ends up trying "out as a waitress at the attached 'family restaurant'" of a hotel (Ehrenreich 8). Ironically, Ehrenreich finds herself working as a waitress in which she earlier stated she was looking to avoid. This kind of job also takes little skill. Ehrenreich found that if she wanted to make a living for herself, she does not necessarily have the freedom to choose what job she has. This job may have not been what she was looking for, but she did not have the freedom say no, and still pursue her dream.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Inside job. Dir. Charles Ferguson. Perf. Matt Damon. Sony, 2010. DVD.
"American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: Wall Street - Gordon Gekko Addresses Teldar Shareholders - Greed Is Good." N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.
O'Connell, Brian. "Wall Streets' Great Recession Cost Us All $30 Trillion." The Street. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. "Barbara Ehrenreich - Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich"