This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The American Dream Within The Great Gatsby

761 words - 4 pages

The American Dream within The Great Gatsby
Michael
5-23-13

Part of The Great Gatssby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, that was noticed for its message throughout the book was the American Dream and what it truly meant to achieve it. In Gatsby, the American Dream is starkly portrayed as having immense wealth, power, and being higher up than those less fortunate in life. Some of the characters in the book, Tom, Daisy, and Jordan, have all had wealth for most of their lives and they show little regard for those less fortunate, being corrupted by greed and selfishness.
Everyone has their own version of what the American Dream is and what it means to them. Identity is important to every person because it shows other people who they really are. An example of a character that has wealth and some power is Tom Buchannan, the husband of Daisy, who's the cousin of Nick Carraway, who lives next door to Gatsby. Tom has money, however he doesn't seem to have a whole lot of brain in him. ...view middle of the document...

An example throughout the book of his negligence is his actions towards his mistress, Myrtle Wilson. Tom is married himself to Daisy, yet he has a secret affair with another woman. He breaks Myrtles nose at one point because she said Daisy's name repeatedly. Basically, he uses her and treats her like she's nothing. But Tom is furious when he finds Daisy is having an affair, so this makes him a hypocrite. His selfishness and arrogance make him believe he is superior to those around him because he's "more of a man then them". However, the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, truly did reach the American Dream.
Gatsby achieved the American Dream, yet he became somewhat corrupted due to his old business, like bootlegging for example. He himself is a self-made man, and that helps prove that he truly achieved it. Before entering World War 1, he was poor and had no money. After the war happened and he saw Daisy married Tom while he was away, he put an idea in his head of who he wanted to become. He followed that idea and believed in it so much, that he made it happen. When the narrator of the book, Nick, meets and sees Gatsby for the first time, he realizes how wealthy Gatsby is. He has a huge mansion with a bay view and a pool, all the while throwing excessive, elegant parties every weekend, catered with hundreds of crates of food and drinks. Though Gatsby is wealthy, he has morals that show in his character. He has regard for those less fortunate in life. He's not self centered and arrogant, like Tom. His true purpose for becoming wealthy was just so he could be reunited with Daisy, his true love. Wealth didn't have that much value to him, as he cared for other things more.
Conclusively, the American Dream is a goal that someone sets in their own mind of who they want to be. If they achieve it or not is entirely up to them. Gatsby followed what he believed in and achieved it, getting the wealth he desired. The 1920's was a decade of sex, alcohol and violence, which was portrayed close to what is was in The Great Gatsby. A persons own identity was and is important, as it shows others who they truly are, which was a big deal back in the 1920's, with bootleggers on the rise due to Prohibition, status was almost everything. In order to succeed, you had to have money in order to blend in with all the other men in high society.

Other Essays Like The American Dream Within the Great Gatsby

Gatsby and the Obscene American Dream

1738 words - 7 pages Faizan Syed Instructor: Christopher Simeone English 251 26 October 2009 Gatsby and the Obscene American Dream Jay Gatsby, from Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, is a figure constantly enshrouded in obscurity yet often also marked with a sense of hope. These alluring qualities lead critics such as Barbara Will to characterize him as a self-contradictory embodiment of both obscenity and the glorious American Dream. These characterizations

The Great Gatsby; an American Love Story?

646 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby; an American Love Story? Many people say that The Great Gatsby is a great American love story. This isn’t the case. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is not a story of perfect love. It is a story of love and lust corrupting people’s lives. This novel follows many relationships, but focuses on one in particular; Daisy and Gatsby’s. If a reader was to base their judgment of Daisy solely on Gatsby’s perception of her, most

The Great Gatsby; Gatsby analysis

695 words - 3 pages  The Great Gatsby Gatsby is a man of obsession. He created an idea of a man and became it, he obsessed over the fact that his new found life must be perfect. No one knew exactly who Gatsby was. They knew of him, but no one quite knew him, other than a selected few who helped create him. Gatsby was a man of many secrets, he kept his life private “When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet

The Great Gatsby

636 words - 3 pages In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s in America as an era of “decayed social and moral values,” evidenced in its greed and pursuit of pleasure. The reckless elation and enthusiasm that led to wild parties and jazz (like the extravagant, over-the-top parties Gatsby throws in the novel) resulted in the corruption of the American dream. The American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of

The Great Gatsby

695 words - 3 pages may represent the motivity for Gatsby to live up to Daisy's ideal. He tries his best to give Daisy more and protect her, even after Daisy's careless drive has killed Myrtle, he still worries about her and be afraid of that she may be harmed by others. The reason why he created such a "colossal" illusion is he really loves Daisy deeply. 3. How might the novel symbolize the American Dream? How might the novel, or the characters within the novel

The Great Gatsby - 3

606 words - 3 pages In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts Jay Gatsby’s dream of reliving the past and rekindling his love with Daisy Buchannan. This causes Gatsby to create a false identity; that of being a wealthy and prestigious man. Gatsby’s helpless love for Daisy blinds him from the responsibility he holds to himself. He has cast away his true character and personality only to become a shell of the person he once was. Gatsby goes to

The Great Gatsby

1701 words - 7 pages bleakness contrasts with the beautiful fields of wheat in the west. This west being described embodies all that is good in the world, a pure innocence that is quickly lost by all pursuing the 'American Dream.' Nick, Tom, Daisy, and Myrtle, all hailing from the west (were good at one time), have moved east, signifying their loss of the original good they possessed. It is interesting to find that Gatsby, claiming to hail from San Francisco, considers this

The Great Gatsby - 978 words

978 words - 4 pages to the desire to get roaring drunk, like many of these characters do on a daily basis. To make things worse, all of these characters live right outside New York City,a hotbed for the corruption during this time. The eggs of Long Island are full of rich and influential people that create the corruption that surrounds their lives. Money, the American dream, and dishonesty are all themes that are related to the corruption in The Great Gatsby. Money

The Great Gatsby - 966 words

966 words - 4 pages “Discuss the ways in which a text offers a representation of a type of person or a group of people. Refer to at least one text. Texts, through the use of characters, have the ability to represent to us a certain group of people. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prominent novel, The Great Gatsby, we are introduced to the complex and eminent group of the 1920’s, the Aristocrats. The characters Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker and Jay Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Essay

1258 words - 6 pages is widely associated with the American dream. Once daisy gets to know Gatsby more, she realizes that his wealth is false, that Gatsby’s goal of daisy collapses, the green light then becomes just a light in the distance again and covered with a layer of fog and mist. While Gatsby finally obtains daisy his desire is fulfilled but not entirely quenched, the green light is a constant reminder of how far away his dream may be. The Great Gatsby, by F

The Great Gatsby - 1473 words

1473 words - 6 pages , the pioneering spirit of the American Dream was revitalized. The nouveaux riches often clashed with the established wealth, as evident throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, suddenly finds himself submerged in the paper-thin morals, and shallow values of upper-class New York after migrating from the Western interior. Throughout the novel, Nick is highly cynical of American society. Thus, The Great

Related Papers

The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

1178 words - 5 pages The intricate novel based on the American dream, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, explains many facets of how the American dream is not as wonderful as it seems. Throughout the novel, characteristics of societal corruption, adultery, and competition are all intertwined in the definition of the American dream, diminishing its value. There is great resonance in the novel of the hollowness of the upper class and of the diminishing American

How Does The Great Gatsby Portray The Death Of The American Dream

945 words - 4 pages classes and eventually corrupted the true American Dream. Throughout The Great Gatsby it is shown how social rift came between the love of two individuals, Daisy and Gatsby. This led to the eventual corruption of Gatsby himself, the pursuit of wealth, greed, and illegal deeds. T.J Eckleburg, the greatest symbol in the novel, represents more then just an advertisement, but like the onion, inside he represents everything that is corrupt in the new

The American Dream Demonstrated In Death Of A Salesman And The Great Gatsby

1602 words - 7 pages success, wealth, and fulfillment. The characters Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman exhibit the literary use of alienation by their failed attempts at the American Dream in the forms of alienation from nature, labor, community, and themselves. In Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth, success, and fulfillment, he detaches himself from society and is alienated from the community, nature, labor, and himself. Jay Gatsby

The Great Gatsby: The Loss Of The Dream

4248 words - 17 pages Buchanan, Gatsby continues his dedication to his belief, even unto death, that he can become a great man among the elite. One of the ways a reader can come to terms with The Great Gatsby is through the use of New Historicism, the technique of viewing the novel in light of its historical and social moment. The Great Gatsby is set in 1922 and was written in 1925. One of its central themes is the concept of the American Dream. The term came into