AP English 11
August 13, 2012
Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and The American Dream
America is commonly known as a place where opportunities are fairly unlimited to everyone. A shared goal among American society is the attainment of wealth, freedom, and prosperity. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby leads his reader on a winding, dangerous journey in order to describe a failed attempt to achieve the American Dream in a corrupt 1920’s society. Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby are three characters that take the pursuit of the American Dream to an extravagant level. Jay Gatsby’s love interest, Daisy Buchanan, is extremely impressed by the lavish lifestyle of the upper class society. Daisy Buchanan is not a working woman. Instead, she spends a magnificent amount of time relaxing in her beautiful expensive attire. When the narrator, Nick Carraway, enters the Buchanan house, he finds Daisy and Jordan both on an “enormous couch” where they are “buoyed up as those upon an anchored balloon” (8). They have no real responsibilities, and although Daisy has a child, she allows her staff of servants to take on most of the parenting duties. Daisy fails to understand the hardship behind the luxuries she daily enjoys. Her idea of the American Dream is to attain the highest level of wealth without lifting a finger, when in reality it is to achieve wealth by laboring for what you want. Tom Buchanan, a rich retired football star, portrays typical hypocrisy throughout the novel. Having no guilty conscience of his own adultery with Myrtle, he becomes outraged when he starts to suspect Daisy and Gatsby of having an affair, and he demands a confrontation. Tom screams at Daisy, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that's the idea you can count me out.” (76). Not only does this display his inconsideration of his own wife’s feelings, but also his lack of realization of his...