The opening scene of the movie Contagion begins with an amiable Gwyneth Paltrow drinking a cocktail while on a business trip in Tokyo. She coughs ever so slightly before leaning in to laugh good-naturedly at a friend's passing remarks. To the casual observer, her cough would be a miniscule detail of the evening. Smiling freely, chatting happily, Paltrow shows no indication of the virus that has taken root inside of her. Ten minutes later (audience-time), the implications of the unnoticed cough become clear as Paltrow suffers a life-ending seizure in her family's kitchen; a day later, her young son suffers the same attack while the baby sitter puts him to bed. As the number of afflicted people increases with each passing minute of the movie, it soon becomes clear that Paltrow was the catalysis for the viral plague that will sweeps the characters' world. Whether they are dead from direct contact, are traumatized from losing the ones they loved, or are simply trying to avoid the disease from the safety of their sterilized houses, each character is affected by the virus in some way.
In two pages, Fitzgerald epitomized the desperation that has fueled the American Dream for centuries. It was not greed for more money that started the dream, but a more tragic catalyst: a hope for a better future. This being said, Gatsby shows that the "Dream" was not cultivated by the rich, but by the poor – people whose drives to make something of themselves stem from the fact that they were born from nothing. Gatsby's infatuation with Daisy is then interpreted as the infatuation that the poor have with money, because it is the gateway to a brighter future: