American Dream In Great Gatsby Essay

894 words - 4 pages

Essay: The Great Gatsby What is the "American Dream"? How does the characterization of Gatsby in the Great Gatsby represent and undermine it? Although "The Great Gatsby" is filled with multiple themes such as love, money, order, reality, illusion and immorality, no one would probably deny that the predominate one focuses on the American Dream and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its illusionary goals. The attempt to capture the American Dream is the central of this novel. This can be explained by how Gatsby came to get his fortune. By studying the process of how Gatsby tried to achieve his own so-called American Dream, we could have a better understanding of what American dream is all about, in those down-to-earth Americans' point of view. The characterization of Gatsby is a representative figure among Americans as he devoted his whole life to achieve his dream. However, pathetically he failed to make it came true at the end, just like most of the Americans, who misunderstood what the real meaning of American Dream is, did.The Great Gatsby, written by Scott Fittzgerald, is a portrayal of the withering of American Dream. The American Dream promises prosperity and self-fulfillment as rewards for hard work and self-reliance. A product of the frontier and the west, the American Dream challenges people to have dreams and strive to make them real. Historically, the dream represents the image of believing in the goodness nature. However, the American Dream can be interpreted in many different ways. While some may strive for spiritual goodness and excellence, other take the dream to represent purely materialistic values, which the majority perceive at that time. This is also the case of Jay Gatsby. We will later discover such a materialistic interpretation of the American Dream is the main cause of Gatsby's downfall.Gatsby himself indeed is a complex symbol of the corruption of the American Dream. He is a romantic dreamer who seeks to fulfill his life by earning his wealth as a gangster. Gatsby does not change much in the course of the novel because his whole life is devoted to the fulfillment of a romantic dream created that is inconsistent with the realities of society. At a very early age Gatsby vowed to love and to marry Daisy. His lack of wealth led Daisy into the arms of another more prosperous man, Tom. Gatsby believed that he could win Daisy back with money, and that he could get the life she wanted if he is willing to pay for it.. He wanted to do away with time in order to obliterate the years Tom and Daisy had together. Gatsby wanted to repeat the past, "I'm going to fix everything just the...

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