The Cost of Pursuing a Dream

What is the cost of perusing a dream? Optimism.


Sources and Quotes

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past " (Gatsby, 180)

According to NYTimes poll 81% of people believed the American dream was attainable before the recession, afterwards 72% believed it was attainable.

"72% today down from the 81% who felt that way in 2007" (Seelye, What happens to the American Dream in a recession?

This was after countless tries to get a good job only to end up with the one she didn't want to work with in the first place.

"Something between fear and indignation rises in my chest. I want to say, 'Thank you for your time, but this is just an experiment [...] not my actual life'" (Ehrenreich, Serving in Florida)

Experience Synthesis

Experience cultivated on the pursuit of the American Dream erodes on the optimism in the person. With all the effort put into achieving ones goal with lack of success "indignation" (Ehrenreich, Serving in Florida) is sure to arise along with anger, which is a major blow to ones optimism, however during trying times such as a recession more and more people start to believe it is impossible -- adopting a pessimistic view such as Nick's theory of chasing Dreams that "year by year recedes".


Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something

Betrayal and Pessimism Synthesis

Betrayal leads to lack of trust, and uncertainty which can evolve into pessimism. To the betrayers like Tom and greedy Bankers don't view it as wrong, to them it was "entirely justified", because "they were careless people (Gatsby, 179). Tom and the bankers did what benefited them at the cost of others in the form of the death of Gatsby and the "housing bubble and bust" through "dubious" investments/"ultra risky mortgage loans" (Sloan, Junk Mortgages Under the Microscope). The banks more so because of the blatant insult to buyers in the form of [betting against their own faulty investments to make more gain than loss through hedges] (Inside Job 2010).

But those betrayals cost people in the form of hardship (recession, and Gatsby's death) those hardships eroded on people's optimism until they become cynical and pessimistic. Leaving adults to become doubtful of the future to the point most believe today's kids will have a poorer chance at holding a steady job", and less "opportunity" (Kadlec, Is the American Dream Withering or Just Changing).

Works Cited