The American Dream is starting with nothing and through hard work and determination one can achieve millions of dollars and all the happiness one can handle. This may not be true, if that person tries to buy the past to regain the happiness he will never succeed and mostly likely end up very unhappy. A good example of this in fiction is F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald criticizes the American dream in his novel, The Great Gatsby, by showing Jay Gatsby's tragic flaw, his belief that money can buy happiness and his love for Daisy.
The first example of Gatsby's belief that money can buy his happiness is when Nick Carraway describes the subdivision in which he lives, West Egg. The subdivision across the water is East Egg. The houses are very luxurious to say the least. On the other hand, there is a distinction between the two. The West Egg house are more recently built and are elaborately decorated, where as the houses in East Egg are still as big but very conservative in architecture. The two neighborhoods represent the division in the upper class at this time in America. During the 1920's, the conservative "old rich" despised the "new rich". A good example of an "old rich" family would be the Rockefellers, where as a "new rich" family would be the Kennedys. The East Egg represented the conservative money of the "old rich". For generations their money passed down giving them the belief that the "new rich" with their newly acquired wealth were still lower and not equal to them. The "new rich" liked to display their wealth in lavish ways that the conservative wealthy did not approve. In addition, the "new rich" often did not earn their money in legitimate ways; most earned their money from boot legging. Carraway in an ironic way is neither "new rich" nor "old rich". He lives in a rather modest house compared to Gatsby's huge mansion. Gatsby owns a huge house but is the only person living there besides some... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2002, 04). Buying Happiness/ Great Gatsby. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2002, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Buying-Happiness-Great-Gatsby-39935.html
"Buying Happiness/ Great Gatsby" StudyMode.com. 04 2002. 04 2002 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Buying-Happiness-Great-Gatsby-39935.html>.
"Buying Happiness/ Great Gatsby." StudyMode.com. 04, 2002. Accessed 04, 2002. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Buying-Happiness-Great-Gatsby-39935.html.