Gatsby's Pursuit of the American Dream
The American Dream means that by persistently working hard, one can achieve success; this is in contrast to other countries where the immigrants came from, in which one was either born into money and privilege or not, and if you weren't, there was no way of achieving this success. The American Dream eliminated the barriers between people that social class had held for centuries in Europe. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, shows the corruption of the American Dream from what it used to be in the past. Not only does Jay Gatsby achieve his success without hard work, but this success is not a matter of being able to achieve just like every other person. His success is just a result of the 'I want'; materialism of Gatsby's time, the 1920's.
The figures in Fitzgerald's book all represent different outlooks on the American Dream. Nick, who comes from the Midwest, represents the traditional morality that this country used to have in the past. As the narrator, Fitzgerald is making the reader look through the eyes of America's old morality to see what the American Dream has become. Tom and Daisy Buchanan represent those who were born rich and live wealthy; they do not embody the American Dream because they did not have to work to achieve this success. Gatsby symbolizes the corruption of the American Dream because he was striving to be just like those who had money just so that he could buy happiness.
In the past, Gatsby had a love affair with the wealthy Daisy. But he could not marry Daisy because of the difference in their social status. Daisy married Tom because of his money, which means that money can buy love in Gatsby's world. So Gatsby sets the goal in his life to amass enough money so that he can 'buy'; Daisy back. He moves across the bay so that he can be close to Daisy, and worship the little green light that is her house; Nick observes Gatsby raising his arms to the light in silent devotion. The color green represents money. Even Daisy's voice is described as 'full of money.'; Gatsby believes that money can buy emotions from people, and this is not at the core of the American Dream.
Gatsby earns his money, not through hard work, but it is hinted that he is bootlegger and deals in illegal things because of his relationship with Meyer Wolfsheim, a known...