Great Gatsby Essay

811 words - 3 pages

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about several people's lives in high society, told from the point of view of a rather normal man. The theme of the withering of the American dream shows itself in the book through many of its characters. Most of these people seem to be either living or pursuing the American dream, but they could not be considered altogether 'good' or 'happy'. This is shown in many of the characters, including Tom, Gatsby, and George. Through rising by his own actions from the poor state of his youth to a state of great wealth in later years, Gatsby seems to embody the American dream. However, one part of the American dream involves superior morality, which is certainly one thing that Gatsby lacks. Much of his wealth is achieved by the illegal sale of whiskey. Once, he leaves a 'business associate' to take the, blame while he continues on with his business. Another aspect of the American dream is happiness, which is one thing Gatsby does not possess. Although he is rich and can buy anything he wants, Gatsby remains restless and indecisive about his own needs. For months, he has parties almost every week, which are attended by much of New York's high society. However, he never seems to enjoy these parties, because he rarely attends them himself, and when he sees that Daisy does not like them, he calls them off. This shows that although he is wealthy, he is not making himself happy. A direct analogy to the withering, or death of the American dream is that Gatsby is murdered in the end of the book. In the story, when Gatsby dies, the glamour and appeal of the American dream dies with him. Like Gatsby, Tom Buchanan embodies the American dream because he is wealthy and can do whatever he wants. Also like Gatsby, Tom does not possess the morals involved in the American dream. The only reason why Tom did not act immoral in gaining his material wealth is that his family is rich, so he never has to work for anything. Along with his immorality, Tom seems to be unhappy with himself and others. Nick states, "Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer...

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