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

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby A Tarnished American Dream

2192 words - 9 pages

The Great Gatsby: A Tarnished American Dream

 
   Thesis: In his influential book The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald recognizes and describes many of the less alluring characteristics of the 1920's and the pursuit of the American Dream including dysfunctional relationships, materialism and classism.

      The American dream states that people can work themselves up "from rags to riches" by hard work.1 For this reason, the new society has developed dreams of the blind pursuit of material, wealth, and economic success. F. Scott Fitzgerald realizes this big change in society, and considering the fact that he is a fighter for the old values, this novelist tries to warn people not to continue this wrong way. The ideal of the American Dream is based on the fantasy that an individual can achieve success regardless of family history, race, or religion simply by working hard enough. Dysfunctional relationships, according to Fitzgerald's way of writing, are based on infidelity, carelessness, and loveless couples. Materialism, on the other hand, situates wealth as advancement, and money, besides from becoming a shelter from the realities of life, acquires more importance than people. Classism, in the meanwhile, refers to racism, discrimination and snobbery, in the case of The Great Gatsby, present in West Egg. In his influential book The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald recognizes and describes many of the less alluring characteristics of the 1920's and the pursuit of the American Dream including dysfunctional relationships, materialism and classism.

      F.Scott Fitzgerald describes and recognizes the pursuit of the American Dream present in the 1920's including dysfunctional relationships. These types of relationships are based on infidelity, carelessness, and loveless couples. The tradition of infidelity is demonstrated through the majority of the characters; Daisy, Tom, Gatsby, George Wilson, and Myrtle Wilson, who hold multiple relationships with different people other than their actual partners. Some of these people look for a more luxurious life, while others just marry for convenience. For instance, Myrtle Wilson holds an extramarital relationship with Tom Buchanan, for he can provide her with luxuries that her own husband cannot afford, and both Tom and Myrtle make Wilson appear like a fool, because "he thinks she goes to see her sister in New York" (Fitzgerald, 30), while Myrtle is actually going to meet with her lover, whom she regrets marrying. Actually, she even expresses inconformity with their marriage, for "The only crazy I [Myrtle] was when I married him [George]. I knew right away I made a mistake." (Fitzgerald, 41)  In addition, carelessness is also present when Daisy's attitude makes Gatsby believe that she will wait for him until he comes back from war. However, she marries Tom "because I [Gatsby] was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in...

Find Another Essay On F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - A Tarnished American Dream

Trapped in a Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1836 words - 7 pages Trapped in a Dream in The Great Gatsby         F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is a unique in that Fitzgerald does not describe the events in chronological order. Instead, a first-person narrator, Nick Carraway, presents the story as a series of flashbacks. The novel centers around its title character, Jay Gatsby, a rich West Egg citizen who is known for his exuberant parties. Before he left to fight in World War I, the

The American Dream: F. Scott Fitzgerald - "The Great Gatsby"

1679 words - 7 pages activities and immoral values are factors that have contributed to the corruption of the American Dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby clearly shows how the American Dream has become corrupt and how it has become less about the hard work, and more about the results that are obtained through any means possible.In the novel The Great Gatsby, the corruption of the American Dream is shown in part by the greed of the characters. Greed is

The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1145 words - 5 pages The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a brilliant illustration of life among the new rich during the 1920s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of wealth but had no corresponding social connections. The novel is an intriguing account about love, money and life during the 1920s in New York. It illustrates the society and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of

Losing the Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Novel The Great Gatsby

1407 words - 6 pages In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, George Wilson, and Tom Buchanan strive for contentment by achieving their American Dreams. For Gatsby, the American Dream consists of a higher social status, so he can pursue happiness in a relationship with Daisy Buchanan. He reveals his determination for this high status by rising from the poor lower class and living in wealthy West Egg; however, his inability to achieve his

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald

1555 words - 6 pages To some people in this world the most important thing to them is to fulfill their American dream. The American dream has changed throughout the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is how important that dream is to people. One great example of the importance of the American dream is The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald puts a lot of detail and mystery into his book trying to make people think about what each characters dream was

gatdream F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Seeking the Unattainable Dream

1679 words - 7 pages Great Gatsby - Seeking the Unattainable Dream   What is the American Dream? America has evolved from an infant, struggling, nation to become a world power through its unprecedented economic growth. Driven by the tenets of independence, self reliance, and freedom, Americans have had the opportunity to pursue economic success. To many, this is the American Dream; to have freedom and the opportunity to pursue financial freedom. To

The Golden Girl: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1292 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby introduces the roaring twenties with a series of golden prosperity and riches beyond belief. With his eccentric chraracters, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald shapes the perception of 1920’s New York and shows the unique social aspect of life in the east. The Buchanans are initially portrayed as the power couple. Both desirable in their own way, Tom is INSERT QUOTE OF WHAT HE’S LIKE

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - The Power of Money

678 words - 3 pages , in search of the power that enables them to live. But, money can play many parts in the drama of life. It can represent or give the illusion of wealth, prestige, nobility, and power. Those that seek to harness its powers must also strive to conquer its ability to destroy and corrupt. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, the repeated image of money, no matter in what form or through whom it is portrayed, is used to such an extent that it

Double Vision in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

705 words - 3 pages The Great Gatsby:  Double Vision                 F. Scott Fitzgerald once stated that the test of a first rate intelligence was the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. This intelligence he describes is characterized by the principle of “double vision.” An understanding of this is

Reinventing Oneself in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

886 words - 4 pages they are seen as, and wanting to be seen as somebody entirely different. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s superb novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby the main character is so fixated on reinventing himself. Going to great lengths to not only reinvent himself but to obtain the things that he once had in the past- which was a life with Daisy Buchanan; a young girl whom he met before going off to war. The Great Gatsby explores themes such as reinventing

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Conflicting Ideals

1001 words - 4 pages Conflicting Ideals in The Great Gatsby     Throughout the world, societies can become cruel and unjustified machines. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the morality of a society is clearly revealed through the choices and consequences its characters experience. The two societies within the novel, West Egg and East Egg, create an atmosphere of mixed ideals and morals, so completely opposite of each

Similar Essays

The Lost American Dream In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1398 words - 6 pages The Lost American Dream in The Great Gatsby      Critics agree that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is not only a social commentary on the roaring twenties but also a revelation of the disintegration of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby embodies this smashed and illusionary dream; he is seen as a “mythic” (Bewley 17) individual, as “the end product of the American Dream” (Lehan 109) and as a representative of “man’s headlong pursuit

The Impossible American Dream In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1538 words - 6 pages A dream is a deep ambition and desire for something; everybody tries to reach their dreams no matter how far away they may seem. The characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stories strive for nothing less than “The Great American Dream”. This is the need to be the best of the best, top of the social ladder, and to be happier and more successful than anyone has been before. Fitzgerald writes about this American Dream that every character has but can

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Corruption Of The American Dream

1475 words - 6 pages life was a mockery to mankind.  The beauty of striving for one's dreams is found in the self-discipline and work required – there is little merit in lavishly rewarding yourself for a goal achieved.  Gatsby had no morals, no sense of self, and in truth, he had no life.  He had only his money, his dreams, and his “make believe” reality.  The Great Gatsby represents the complete corruption of the American dream. Works Cited: Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

The Decay Of A Dream In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1597 words - 6 pages The Decay of a Dream in The Great Gatsby      The central theme of The Great Gatsby is the decay of the American Dream. Through his incisive analysis  and condemnation  of 1920s high society, Fitzgerald (in the person of the novel¹s narrator, Nick Carraway) argues that the American Dream no longer signifies the noble pursuit of progress; instead, it has become grossly materialistic and corrupt. Fitzgerald¹s novel is structured as an