The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 4 (1162 words) Published: November 18, 2013
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is an excellent demonstration of life among the new rich during the 1920s, with people who had freshly accumulated an immense amount of fortune but had no subsequent social networks. The novel is a fascinating account about love, money and life during the 1920s in New York. It demonstrates the society and the accompanying principles, values, and dreams of the American population at that time. These principles, values, and dreams can be condensed to form what is labeled the ‘American Dream’. What does this dream entail exactly? Perhaps it is the vision of money, wealth, prosperity, and the happiness that evidently accompanied the thriving economy and the get-rich-fast plans that shaped the less qualified elites of the upper-class society. This waning theme is shown in the novel through many of its characters, mainly Gatsby, through the eyes of Nick Carraway, a bondsman. The writing style throughout The Great Gatsby is concise and its overall message reveals that the American dream is eventually ruined by the harsh reality of life.

First and foremost, Jay Gatsby is nothing more than a man in pursuit of his own dream and he will let nothing stand in his way. Gatsby constructed his whole self-being on how much money he earned and the belongings he had. He felt that with wealth came various benefits to life. Gatsby’s solitary perseverance for obtaining fortune was to acquire his old love, Daisy. When Gatsby first met the privileged Daisy during the war, he was generally disadvantaged and deemed unworthy because of his lower class status in society. He was, as Tom Buchanan would mention, a “Mr. Nobody from Nowhere” (Fitzgerald 130). He understood from society’s rigid structure that while he was a poor farmer’s boy there was no possibility to maintain a relationship with Daisy. It was unthinkable to be with such a sophisticate, upper-class woman, and Gatsby knew this. Thus he figured...

Cited: Decker, Jeffrey Louis, “Gatsby’s Pristine Dream: The Diminishment of the Self-Made Man in     the Tribal Twenties.” NOVEL 28.1 (Autumn 1994): 52-71. Rpt. In Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 210. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Feb, 2013
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925
Voegeli, William, “Gatsby and the pursuit of happiness.” Claremont Review of Books Winter 2003: 69+.Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Mar. 2012.
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