The American Dream. Is it over, or is there still hope?
The meaning of the American Dream has changed throughout history. During the jazz era, the American Dream was thought to be someone starting out low on the economic or social level and through hard work; one would prosper and could become wealthy and successful. Having the nice house, the nice cars, and the happy family, symbolized that one was living the American Dream. How does one have a dream for something that is material? Once one wants or dreams of materialistic possessions, its only human nature to want more.
Fitzgerald believed that the American Dream was over. In his novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald demonstrates how Jay Gatsby purses Daisy Buchanan who is the love of his life. As a young solider going overseas, Gatsby falls in love with Daisy because “she was the first ‘nice’ girl he had ever known” (Gatsby 148). Falling in love with Daisy would be Gatsby’s start to his American Dream, but also will be the destruction to his life. After the war Gatsby decides to stay in England to study at Oxford before heading home. Having recreated himself, Gatsby is afraid of Daisy finding out that he is an imposter and his losing his American Dream.
Daisy wants some kind of purpose in her life, and when Gatsby doesn’t return from the war, she decides to find someone of wealth and social status. This is when Daisy finds Tom Buchanan who is wealthy from old money. Gatsby receives a letter from Daisy letting him know she is going to get married. Gatsby then decides to return to United States, thinking that he will not have to worry about her finding out that he is an imposter or how poor he really was. Gatsby uses his last bit of money to travel to Louisville where he begins his quest to recapture the love of his life.
Gatsby earns his money through corruption. Fitzgerald illustrates this when Gatsby and Nick Carraway, who is Daisy’s cousin, have lunch with Meyer Wolfsheim. Mr. Wolfsheim asks Nick, “I...
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