Living in a capitalist society means that things only acquire meaning when they are placed in relation to each other. Through questioning the value of oneself, no one is ever fully satisfied, because people are constantly aiming higher, striving for something more. I guess this propagates the entire capitalist system, which would therefore stop working if one truly achieved what they wanted. The likelihood of this failure is slim, but is that necessarily a bad thing? If we become utterly fulfilled, then what is our development working towards? I believe in the idea of striving for something more, and simply having a dream. Contrary to a widespread critical opinion, I am fond of Jay Gatsby. Yes, he becomes blinded by his dream, but nonetheless strives for something full in life, perhaps serving to stand for America itself.
America has long prided itself on a dream, and on the hope that prosperity and opportunities are available to any one, despite their social ranking. I think that the basic concept of this ‘American Dream’ is admirable – it inspires self-growth and liberty. Though we may argue that it’s unattainable, it’s intentions are nonetheless favourable. This idea is apparent in The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is the quintessential pursuer of The American Dream, and Fitzgerald created him for this exact intention. In framing a narrative around a character so driven by making his dreams attainable, there is a suggestion that we all need to dream a little more, and accept each other for this. Value is vital in human relationships, and a crucial way of working towards an idealised nation.
The reason that I wished to mention this novel in today’s post is because I found it rather ironic to be studying it this week, in light of recent actions of order that have taken place in America. This devised ‘dream’ of America which is founded on favourable intentions is becoming more shattered and corrupt as certain individuals abuse the notion, turning society into more of a nightmare. Following Trump’s recent proposal to ban those from seven particular countries from entering America, he justifies his policies by explaining that they will make America great and secure again. But how can a country be defined as ‘great’ if its policies are founded on devaluing people and promoting a prejudice outlook on life? It’s rather saddening that we’re still living on a planet where individuals like this are given the power to propose laws dehumanising certain people for not fitting into the category of their idealised individual. We criticise controlling characters like Tom and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby for being selfish and condescending, yet today, we’re a collection of dreaming Gatsby’s who are still being controlled by them. There’s a fine line between real life and tragic fiction at the moment, which is a rather worrying thought.
As always, let me know your thoughts on today’s post and outfit in the comments box below! Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.