The American Dream in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
The 1920's were a time of parties, drinking and having nothing but fun. Many aspired to be rich and prosperous and longed to be a part of the upper class. Although this was the dream for many Americans of this time, it seemed almost impossible to become a part of this social class unless born into it. Even those who worked hard to become successful and support themselves and their families were not accepted into this elite group of men and women, despite the fact that they too most likely had everything. This was a running theme of this decade and only a few people knew how impossible this dream was. Although some could accomplish rising to the top, they still could not achieve true happiness. F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of these wise people and in The Great Gatsby he satirizes the American Dream by creating characters from new money, old money and the working class, who all fail miserably in achieving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The new money of the New York area mostly settled in West Egg, Long Island. This is where Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story, and Jay Gatsby live. Gatsby is a self-made man who "sprang from his Platonic conception of himself" (95). Nick describes him as a man invented like that which a "seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end" (95). This idea of a self-made man was very popular in this era. Many people, especially from the lower social classes, wanted more than anything to become rich and part of the upper society. In Gatsby's case, his motivation is Daisy, a girl from Louisville with whom he fell in love. When Gatsby realized that he wasn't good enough for her because she came from the aristocracy while he hardly had enough money to buy himself clothes, he "committed himself to the following of a grail" (142). This grail, Daisy, almost has a holy feeling to it, something that is almost impossible to...
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