Materialism And Happiness In America: The Gatsby Era And Today



Materialism: attention to or emphasis on material objects, needs or
considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual values.
The acquisition of material has been equated with happiness in this country.
This is true today, and it was true during the 1920's, the setting of F.
Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. That the majority of Americans believe
that wealth and happiness are the same is a result of our market economy
that encourages consumption and conditions us to think that we need
material possessions to be happy. According to Andrew Bard Schmookler,
"Wealth and human fulfillment have become equated in the predominant
ideology of liberal society, even though the great ...

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for things is what drives our economy. The free
market has given us great blessings, but it has in some ways also put us on
the wrong path -- the path to a selfish, unhappy society. Michael Lerner,
who worked as a psychotherapist to middle-income Americans notes that

"The problem is that the deprivation of meaning is a social problem, rooted
in part in the dynamics of the competitive marketplace, in part in the
materialism and selfishness that receive social sanction. . . many
Americans hunger for a different kind of society -- one based on
principles of caring, ethical and spiritual sensitivity . . . Their need
for meaning is just as intense as their need for economic security."

Jay Gatsby had all the trappings of wealth: a huge mansion, fancy clothes,
and expensive cars. His lavish, decadent parties were designed to impress
Daisy. But why did Gatsby feel he needed to flaunt his material wealth to
win Daisy's love? Why was he so materialistic, and why are we? Are ...

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Materialism And Happiness In America: The Gatsby Era And Today. (2005, January 2). Retrieved June 21, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Materialism-Happiness-America-Gatsby-Era-Today/19944
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"Materialism And Happiness In America: The Gatsby Era And Today." Essayworld.com. January 2, 2005. Accessed June 21, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Materialism-Happiness-America-Gatsby-Era-Today/19944.
"Materialism And Happiness In America: The Gatsby Era And Today." Essayworld.com. January 2, 2005. Accessed June 21, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Materialism-Happiness-America-Gatsby-Era-Today/19944.
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Added: 1/2/2005 08:07:48 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1061
Pages: 4

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