In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a major theme is the American Dream versus Gatsby's dream, the ideal dream, and the corruption and destruction of the dream. Fitzgerald reveals that the American Dream was transformed from a pure idea of security into a scheme of materialistic power. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald showed the perseverance and hope the founding fathers had. Though the American Dream was corrupted, Gatsby's was not. It was the "foul dust" who were corrupted that ended Gatsby and his dream. Gatsby was living the dream purely, but the corrupted people in his life, like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, destroyed Gatsby's dream.
The American Dream, which arose during the Colonial Period, developed in the 19th century. The dream was based on the assumption that each person, no matter his or her origin, could succeed on the sole basis of his or her own skill and effort. Gatsby lived the dream purely. He had the determination, creativity, inspiration, and the passion to achieve his goal. Even when he was poor, Gatsby saw himself as a rich, sophisticate and successful man. Gatsby's burning desire for Daisy's love symbolized the basis of the old dream: the ethereal goal and the never- ending search for the opportunity to reach the goal. Gatsby is first seen late night "
standing with his hands in his pockets." And "
out to determine what share is his of our local heavens
he stretches out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and as far as I am from him I can swear he's trembling. Involuntarily I glance seaward and distinguish nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might be the end of the dock." Gatsby's goal gave purpose in his life and set him apart from the rest of the upper class. He was constantly striving to get Daisy; from the moment he is seen reaching toward her house to the final days of his life, even staying outside her house at night to watch over her hours after she ended her affair with him. Gatsby was...
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