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Great Gatsby Essay

1573 words - 7 pages

The American dream is nothing but a mirage something that is seen by the middle class American as an entity that can be obtained through hard work and dedication. This belief in Fitzgerald’s mind is viewed as a myth, that the fact of the matter is that when Americans start their journey towards the American dream they soon realize that when one achieves this monumental task it gives none of the rewards it promised to have, because in Fitzgerald’s viewpoint it’s never really possible for an individual to break the barriers in which they’re were born into and join an upper class lifestyle. This observation can be seen through the narration of Nick Caraway when he talks about Jay Gatsby’s struggle in the novel The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby will be the first of three characters that will be evaluated in this essay the next being Tom Buchanan followed by the tragic Myrtle Wilson. These coming pages will dig deep through the novel The Great Gatsby exploring how Fitzgerald state’s that the honest man can’t achieve the American unless they are born into it or they cheat and steal their way in, leaving those who try to get in honestly to lay to waste.
Jay Gatsby is used by Fitzgerald to illustrate the results of what happens when an individual achieves what they believe to be the American dream. Jay Gatsby is the epitome of the of the word new money, The house he owns is described as looking “ like the worlds fair” (Fitzgerald 87) and his car is described as a “rich cream color(69), bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length”.(69) In these lines we see how desperate Gatsby is to look rich in front of the public eye. He is constantly showing off his possessions as a way to validate his place in the social ranks of society. Though the truth is that what really gives him away when it comes to new money is his behavior around Nick. We see this in chapter four when Nick says “ He hurried the phrase “educated at oxford” or swallowed it or choked on it”(70). This shows how when Gatsby is out of the limelight and fully relaxed being his true self he’s very skittish and has trouble speaking his dialect clearly. The next part of Gatsby’s behavior that is revealing is the refereeing to other people as “Old Sport”(52) at the end of speaking. This is an act of some sort that Gatsby does to keep his Oxford man status alive and well amongst his guests so that they can see first hand his classy behavior. The problem with all of this is that Gatsby doesn’t understand that the upper class doesn’t need to be noticed and that by acting showy he’s only destroying his chances of being taken seriously by his peers. By living this type of life Gatsby risked everything in order to have a chance with Daisy by doing so e fell flat on his face and it ended up costing him his life. Fitzgerald used Gatsby as a way to communicate how impossible it is to enter the cliques of the high society when you aren’t born into money. The other...

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