Great Gatsby Rough Draft
The American dream is the belief that people through their struggle and toil in the harshness of life can somehow achieve their dreams. This belief plays a prominent role in The Great Gatsby. The American dream serves as a backdrop to the splendor and bustle of the Roaring Twenties. Nick Carraway is at first amazed by how all his friends’ material dreams have come true. Surely this finery and wealth must be the American dream. He soon discovers that this splendor is just a façade for the hollowness of society. The character of Nick Carraway goes to the East under the impression that the American dream stood for discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness. He finds, however, that this dream is dead and has been replaced by an American dream corrupted by crime, flawed values, and raging materialism.
Nick Carraway believes in the American ideal of a self made man. But this principle stands in harsh contrast with the crime and violence he find in the East. The main link to the world of crime in the novel is Gatsby. Though Gatsby has a noble dream, to become successful to win his true love, we see him fall prey to the temptations of easy money. Nick is disgusted by the means with which Gatsby has tried to reach his dream, "Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men". Gatsby’s dream is eventually snuffed out when Daisy refuses to leave Tom. The death of Gatsby’s dream is symbolic for the death of the American dream. Gatsby illustrates how the American dream has become filled with the temptations of crime and easy money. Gatsby’s honorable intentions soon become warped by this corrupted American dream as he gains his riches through bootlegging. Once Nick learns that all of Gatsby’s wealth is attained through...
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