Finding Happiness in the Great Gatsby

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Finding Happiness

The American Dream has been and will always be pursued by countless individuals in search for happiness. For some, happiness comes from having a loving family, a stable job, and food on the table. For others, it is through becoming increasingly wealthy and having a high social status. F. Scott Fitzgerald explores, in his novel, The Great Gatsby, a male protagonist’s futile attempts at achieving the American Dream to become happy. Jay Gatsby, a newly rich man, is depicted as someone that will go to any lengths to achieve his dream of winning back the love of Daisy Buchanan. Essentially, she is Gatsby’s American Dream. Fitzgerald develops the idea that an aspiring individual, when striving to achieve his/her dream, may choose to lose his/her moral values in an attempt to gain power so he/she can recreate the past.

Jay Gatsby, a central figure in this novel, turns to illegal activities as a way to gain wealth and win back the love of Daisy Buchanan. This is supported by the following quote by Tom Buchanan: “…He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong” (Fitzgerald, pp.127). Gatsby decided that Daisy would leave her husband and return to him if he became a wealthy man. The only solution for Gatsby to become rich fast was to sell alcohol even though it was illegal to sell it. Gatsby also lied and deceived people as a way to maintain an air of respect around himself. This is supported by the quote:  “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Mid West- all dead now.” (Fitzgerald, pp.64). This small sentence alone is a blatant lie as Gatsby’s father appears at the end of the novel and is clearly not dead. In addition, Nick discovers later in the novel that “his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people...” (Fitzgerald, pp.95). As...
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