Explore the Portrayal of the American Dream and Its Failure in the Great Gatsby; Illuminate Your Response with Reference to Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Pages: 3 (1166 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Explore the portrayal of the American Dream and its failure in the Great Gatsby; Illuminate your response with reference to Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

One of the main themes in “The Great Gatsby” centres on the corruption of the American Dream. Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” deals with the struggles of achieving the American dream and how far one is willing to go in order to reach it. The dreams of this novel are corrupted by wealth, power and expenses and Fitzgerald demonstrates this by focusing on Gatsby, who is a well made man and blinded with luxury possessions in which he indulges himself thinking this will persuade Daisy to love him. Gatsby started off with no money; however he encounters wealth through “bootlegging,” meaning to buy Daisy’s love and happiness. Gatsby possesses a romantic view of wealth, and holds many parties for people that aren’t even his friends in the hope that it will forward him in his desire for something greater, and his drive for love is partially to blame for his inability to achieve the dream. One of the main focuses in the novel is that of Gatsby’s obsession and feelings for Daisy, another focal point of the novel centres on Gatsby’s determination to induce her into loving him by having wealth and luxuries. In “The Great Gatsby”, Fitzgerald uses the symbolism of wealth, superficiality, and irresponsibility to portray the impossibility of the American Dream. Wealth propels many of the characters actions throughout the novel, and wealth is one of the key factors towards Gatsby’s struggle at winning Daisy’s heart. I believe Fitzgerald is trying to inform us that the American Dream is unachievable. The idea is that if you work hard enough you can have everything you want, but in actual fact getting what you want doesn’t ensure your happiness, for instance; When Gatsby finally thinks he has got Daisy back, he asks for more, he wants Daisy to tell Tom she doesn’t love him but Daisy says “Please don’t” and in the end it is...
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