The Great Gatsby - the American Dream

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 2 (789 words) Published: September 2, 2001
The statement made by Marius Bewley's critical essay "Scott Fitzgerald: The Apprentice Fiction", "Fitzgerald's ultimate subject is the character of the American Dream in which, in their respective ways, his principle heroes are all trapped.", can be justified through Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby and his short story "Winter Dreams". In both pieces of literature, Fitzgerald explores and comments upon Americans and their pursuit of the American Dream through Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green's pursuit of their "golden girls".

Fitzgerald shows that the American Dream is not easily achieved by giving each leading man obstacles in the pursuit of their golden girl. Both Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green face many obstacles while trying to win their golden girl. For example, Jay Gatsby is faced with the fact that he was not rich enough to be a prospect for Daisy when they were younger. By giving Gatsby this obstacle Fitzgerald is showing the reader that the road to achieving the American Dream is not smooth and not easily traveled. In addition, in Dexter Green's quest to win Judy Jones he is faced with the fact that she is promiscuous and loses interest in men easily. Fitzgerald is commenting upon the fact that the Americans search for the American Dream and that the American Dream doesn't come to the American. You have to work for the American Dream, it is not simply acquired. Fitzgerald, through both his novel and short story, comments upon the obstacles that accompany pursuing the American Dream.

It is evident in The Great Gatsby and in "Winter Dreams" that Americans will do practically anything necessary to achieve their American Dream, just as Gatsby and Green have done anything to win their golden girls. For example, Dexter Green, although he has been hurt and abandoned by Judy Jones several times, broke his engagement with another woman as soon as Judy Jones stated she wanted to marry him. Fitzgerald is showing the reader that Americans will do...
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