The cost of pursuing a dream.
What is the cost of pursuing a dream?
Most people always seem to fight for what they want, what they cherish, and what they dream of. In The Great Gatsby, it is clear that almost every character has a dream; that is, living the American Dream, an idea people had in the early 1900's in which they could sustain themselves and a family and live a life of happiness and joy. Often, people go beyond limits trying to achieve their dreams and can act carelessly towards others. As Nick said about Tom, "he didn't earn the wealth.[he did] nothing to deserve it" (Fitzgerald, 20). Wealth may help someone get materialistic things that make oneself happy for a while, but not even Gatsby can buy "the education or experience" (Fitzgerald, 50) needed to succeed.
The Great Gatsby - Inside Job
The definition of decency is described as being “modest”, “respectable”, and “worthy”. The loss of decency is shown all throughout the book The Great Gatsby. Almost each and every one of the characters in the story fails to prove that they are worthy enough and are decent people. Jay Gatsby, the Buchanan’s, Jordan Baker, and even Nick Carraway are guilty of letting their decency be damaged. For example, Jordan Baker, who is a professional golfer, frequently lies about her scores and shots in order to win tournaments. Another clear example is Daisy Buchanan, who chose money over true love, proving that her dream was being wealthy and living a luxurious life. “Their voices are full of money” (Fitzgerald 120), all Tom and Daisy care about of money. Whenever Daisy’s decaying morality and rage takes over her, she keeps driving and runs over Myrtle, instead of trying to stop or dodging her. Tom is a careless person; he has an open affair with a mistress and lets everyone know about it, proving that he is not worthy enough for a lady who goes through a lot like Daisy. Both of them “were careless people” (Fitzgerald 179), their lives were falling apart as the story developed and their ethics were being corrupted. Similar to the growth in wealth, dreams and passions of people in that era, the movie Inside Job portrays The Wall Street industry and how it has also increased in wealth and power which lead to fraud. These big companies and banks, even big names in the political world have committed criminal acts which degrades their decency. Many of the banks have left customers feeling as if “there is nothing they can trust anymore”. Industries of Wall Street have become powerful by achieving their dreams by lying, cheating and stealing which unfortunately, “those dreams turn out to be nightmares, [and] other people pay for it” (Sheng). Samuel Hayes believes that industries knew that some of the work they were doing was potentially be harmful for the economy and other industries. At last, even though some of the companies were gaining a lot of money, their lack of decency and trust in their field lead to the decay of the economy around the globe causing millions of people and smaller businesses to fail.
"Junk Mortgages Under Microscope" & "Greed is Good" by Gordon Grekko
In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, an investor at Teldar Paper, accuses business owners for taking advantage of the public. He also speaks about how he believes greed can be good. Many companies fall under this belief and lose their decency by abusing the respect of others, overusing their power and losing their own respect in order to make money. For those who act like this, these actions can harm them for life, resulting in loss of friendships and partnerships. Gekko and others with the same ambitions may achieve their their golas through Greed but it is important to be aware of other who will overuse their power and do anything to benefit themselves, even if it results in a complete loss of their decency. Along with that, the “paper company lost 110 million dollars last year” (Gekko), this is why Tedlar Paper is viewed similar to Goldman Sachs in that it is self destructive for the owner’s gain. Following up, in the article “Junk Mortgages Under the Microscope”, Sloan explains how Goldman Sachs sold subprime mortgages and how it grew “more than $1.5 trillion of loans” with maybe “$200 billion of losses” (Sloan). Goldman Sachs was trusted by its investors, because knowing about such a big industry, it is expected to have decent workers, decent laws and actions that are worthy of being trusted. Goldman’s lies about their second-mortgages resulted in trillions of dollars lost and millions of people with low interest rates and mortgages all around. The cost of their dream was payed by the people who trusted them, the investors and innocent people. Their indecent actions ruined these’s people lives and how money is handled forever.
- "American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: Wall Street - Gordon Gekko Addresses Teldar Shareholders - Greed is Good." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2013. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechwallstreet.html>.
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New
York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
- "Gordon Gekko 'Greed is Good' Trade like a Pro - YouTube." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8y6DJAeolo>.
- Sloan, Allan. "Junk Mortgages under the Microscope." CNNMoney. Cable News
Network, 16 Oct. 2007. Web. 09 Jan. 2013
- "The Big Read." The Great Gatsby. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2014.