This passage does have a critical tone, since Nick implies that Tom could remedy his nostalgia by ceasing to coast on his privilege and success.
The reporter was vastly amused. The idea influences viewpoints that anything can be accomplished with the correct willpower, no matter the hill to climb. There was even a recurrent idea in America about an education that would leave out history and the past, that should be a sort of equipment for aerial adventure, weighed down by none of the stowaways of inheritance or tradition.
These pieces have also played a large role in the stereotype of the philosophy. Two years later, a New York Times article noted: "Get-rich-quick and gambling was the bane of our life before the smash"; they were also what caused the "smash" itself in In England property begot a strong place sense, but Americans, restless and with shallow roots, needed fins and wings.
What do you see here? By it was clear that many of America's wealthiest had escaped the Depression unscathed; men like Joseph P Kennedy emerged from it even richer. Feeling increasingly alienated, the protagonist, Marston, finds himself musing on the meanings of America, and especially its eagerness to forget history: "Americans, he liked to say, should be born with fins, and perhaps they were — perhaps money was a form of fin.
This corruption is emblematised by sexual infidelity: as in Gatsby, Fitzgerald again used adultery to suggest a larger world of broken promises and betrayals of faith. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint is the legal definition of freedom.
In the novel the American Dream is what we picture but if we dig deep inside there are crushed dreams and conquered but failed. After the train leaves Chicago and begins heading west, Nick and his friends are aware of themselves as true Westerners, which to Nick is very different from being an Easterner.