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Death Of A Dream Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

The deterioration of the America Dream is a main theme in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. In the novel we gain insight into the life of the upper class during the 1920s through the eyes of Nick Carraway, the novel’s narrator. Through his accounts, we learn how modern times have transformed the notion of the American Dream. This essay will discuss the American Dream and how the character, Jay Gatsby, represents this dream.In examining the character of Jay Gatsby and how he relates to the American Dream it is important to first understand what the American Dream is. “The American Dream is the idea held by many in the United States that through hard work, courage ...view middle of the document...

“She was the first nice girl he had ever known. He found her excitingly desirable” (Fitzgerald 155). Gatsby questions his ability to reach Daisy, but he remains optimistic and he persists in his relationship.Gatsby's ambition is a representation of the American Dream as well. He believes that despite his past, he can achieve a relationship with Daisy based on his wealth, his status, and his success. As Brucolli states in his preface, “He innocently expects that he can buy anything—especially Daisy. She is for sale, but he doesn’t have the right currency” (Bruccoli xi). Gatsby goes to extremes in order to gain the wealth that will lure Daisy into his arms. We learn that the origin of Gatsby’s wealth and possessions are questionable. Nick suggests that Gatsby became rich due to illegal activities affiliated with Wolfshiem. Similarly, Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s husband, suggests that Gatsby earned his money through bootlegging. “He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drugstores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him and I wasn’t far wrong” (Fitzgerald 141).Gatsby, also, utilizes his possessions to win Daisy’s affection. This idea is particularly prominent with the lavish parties that Gatsby throws every weekend. “There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like months among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” (Fitzgerald 43). Gatsby’s ultimate goal in having the parties was to have Daisy attend and become impressed with what he has become. Furthermore, Gatsby utilizes the magnificence of his mansion, the extravagance of his clothing and car. Tom even notices the extravagance, “I’ll take you in this circus wagon [Gatsby’s car]” (Fitzgerald 128). Despite Gatsby’s use of wealth and possessions to achieve his dream, his moral status begins to decline.The American Dream began to fail in Gatsby’s life with the decline of his morals....

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