Analysis of Gatsby's Failure at the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

Pages: 3 (822 words) Published: August 31, 2010
The Roaring Twenties brought in an epoch of extravagance and luxury. Besides material goods, people started pursuing the American dream of a stable life with a family. The main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, Jay Gatsby, is also fascinated to enter into the rat race of achieving the perfect “American Dream”. He wants daisy back and for that he tries to lure her with his wealth. But just like the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Gatsby’s American Dream crashes. By depicting the failure of Gatsby’s dream, Fitzgerald proves that the American dream is an illusion. This dream of finding fortune, love and happiness is idealistic even when one resorts to unethical ways to obtain it. Like others, Gatsby fails to realize this fact.

There are many instances where we see him trying to fulfill his American dream through corrupt ways and later we ultimately see his failure. Even though Gatsby is materialistic successful in his life, it is only due to unethical ways. Upon seeing Dan Cody’s yacht he starts having an eagerness to gain money. To accomplish this dream he gets involved in corrupt processes such as bootlegging and numerous illegal activities which he tries to cover up by lying. While having a conversation with Daisy, she asked Gatsby,

“I thought you inherited your money.”

“I did, old sport,” he said automatically, “but I lost most of it in the big panic—the panic of the war.”(90)

This shows his dishonesty. Even though he doesn’t inherit money, he keeps on lying. He covers the origin of his wealth by mentioning that he owns a chain of Drugstores. However, Tom was able to find the truth and we realize Gatsby’s corruptness when Tom informs “He and this Wolfsheim brought up a lot of side street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger for the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong.” (133)

Not only he used unethical means to...
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