The American Dream in the Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1923. It tells the story of a group of people during the summer of 1922 on Long Island, New York. A main theme in the novel is the American Dream, the ability to become rich from very poor or the idea that all things are possible in America. The American Dream says that anyone can succeed in life. Anyone who works hard, and pursues the ultimate goal of happiness, can, and will, live a fulfilling life. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the character of Gatsby to critique the idea of the American Dream. He uses Gatsby because, although he is an example of the American Dream, in the way that he went from rags to riches, he also contradicts the American Dream. He got to where he was because of illegal actions, not hard honest work. And yet there are people in the world, like George Wilson, that do work hard, honest jobs, yet they still suffer. Fitzgerald seems to encourage the reader to understand that not everyone could live the American Dream, as the American Dream is based on living a more successful life than the next person, if everyone was living the American Dream the American Dream itself would not exist, thus, the American Dream is not flawless. Someone must suffer in order for another to be successful. In The Great Gatsby Wilson, a man who works hard everyday to make ends meat, he suffers in order to allow Tom to live the life of riches. Toms wealth was all inherited, so to him he is living no Dream, it is the only life he knows. Gatsby’s version of the American Dream involves a clear vision, a vision that class difference doesn’t exist, this vision of his connect to Daisy. At one point Gatsby was a poor man who’smain goal was to make a better life for himself, yet, as Daisy was introduced into his life his new ambition was to find a way to eliminate the class difference that scared Daisy and kept him from being with her. It is interesting to look at the differences between how Tom and...
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