1) How Does Gatsby Represent the American Dream? and What Does the Novel Have to Say About the Condition of the Amrican Dream in 1920s?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 5497
  • Published : March 2, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Although "The Great Gatsby" is filled with multiple themes such as love, money, order, reality, illusion and immorality, no one would probably deny that the predominate one focuses on the American Dream and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its illusionary goals. The attempt to capture the American Dream is the central of this novel. This can be explained by how Gatsby came to get his fortune. By studying the process of how Gatsby tried to achieve his own so-called American Dream, we could have a better understanding of what American dream is all about, in those down-to-earth Americans' point of view. The characterization of Gatsby is a representative figure among Americans as he devoted his whole life to achieve his dream. However, pathetically he failed to make it came true at the end, just like most of the Americans, who misunderstood what the real meaning of American Dream is, did.

The Great Gatsby, written by Scott Fittzgerald, is a portrayal of the withering of American Dream. The American Dream promises prosperity and self-fulfillment as rewards for hard work and self-reliance. A product of the frontier and the west, the American Dream challenges people to have dreams and strive to make them real. Historically, the dream represents the image of believing in the goodness nature. However, the American Dream can be interpreted in many different ways. While some may strive for spiritual goodness and excellence, other take the dream to represent purely materialistic values, which the majority perceive at that time. This is also the case of Jay Gatsby. We will later discover such a materialistic interpretation of the American Dream is the main cause of Gatsby's downfall.

Gatsby himself indeed is a complex symbol of the corruption of the American Dream. He is a romantic dreamer who seeks to fulfill his life by earning his wealth as a gangster. Gatsby does not change much in the course of the novel because his whole life is devoted to the...
tracking img