The Great Gatsby - American Dream

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (948 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Failing to Buy into the American Dream

Wealth, material possessions, and power are the core values of The American Dream. Pursuit of a better life led countless numbers of foreign citizens to American soil desiring their chance at the limitless opportunity. Achievement of the American Dream is not always the achievement of true happiness. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby achieves the American Dream, but his idealistic faiths in money and life's possibilities twist his dreams and life into worthless existences based on falsehoods.

Jay Gatsby believes he can buy happiness. For example, Gatsby's house is " A factual imitation of some Hotel De Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden" (The Great Gatsby 9). His house is nothing more than an immaculate symbol of his incalculable income. Gatsby uses the house in an attempt to win happiness and respect from his peers. Furthermore, Gatsby also tries to impress others with such trivial possessions as his clothing, as when Daisy emotionally comments", (His) beautiful shirts… It makes me sad because I have never seen such beautiful shirts before"(98). Crying over articles of clothing is preposterous, yet it is not the shirts that overwhelm Daisy. Their symbolism of Gatsby's unlimited wealth and faith in money is truly saddening. Also, Gatsby realizes that Daisy's main and only concern is life is money. Gatsby pursues unethical and often illegal actions in pursuit of wealth, subconsciously thinking he can purchase the love of Daisy. He realizes his dreams, and they empower him to achieve success. With money, Gatsby believes that anything is possible. He does all he can to buy his happiness, yet he lacks the foresight to see the futility of his efforts.

Gatsby's obsessions are not limited too simply possessing wealth, but they also extend to the manner in which...
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