The American Dream in The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
The American Dream is the fantasy of complete independence and
self-reliance mixed with the opportunity to attain wealth through
one's labours. On the surface, this dream seems almost enchanted,
offering people the unique prospect of achieving success regardless of
one's race, religion or family history. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott
Fitzgerald is an immortal illustration of the American Dream.
Fitzgerald analyses the 1920s and expresses ideas of the American
Dream being distorted from a pure ideal of security into an idea of
materialistic power. Fitzgerald incorporates the aspects of both the
old dream and the new dream in his tragic story to depict how the
American Dream has been corrupted and lost forever.
The main qualities of the American Dream presented in "The Great
Gatsby" are perseverance and hope which are relevant to the life of
Jay Gatsby. This is shown through the eyes of Jay Gatsby, who focused
all his attention on living the American dream and becoming a hero.
Ever since he was a young, Gatsby worked hard on becoming a great man.
This is documented in Gatsby's copy of the adventures of Hopalong
Cassidy, who was an American figure. While showing this journal to
Nick, Mr Gatsby professed "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had
some resolves like this or something. He was always great for that".
Jay Gatsby's connection to the American dream is relevant to his
program for self-improvement. The content of the schedule contained
examples such as "no smoking, study electricity and be better to
parents". This shows the qualities of being an American hero and a
hardworking ambition for thirst and adventure.
Jay Gatsby epitomizes one of the main characteristics of the American
dream, everlasting hope. Gatsby's desire to win Daisy's love is
relevant to his version of the American dream. His desire for Daisy
symbolizes the basis of the old dream as it is an incredible goal and
a constant search for the opportunity to reach this goal. This is
shown when Gatsby is first introduced into the novel. "He stretched
out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was
from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced
seaward and distinguished nothing, except a single green light, minute
and far away, that might have been the end of a dock". The green light
that Gatsby reaches out for symbolizes his longing, his desire for
Daisy, for money, for acceptance and no matter how much he has, he
never feels complete. This green light is part of the American Dream.
It symbolizes our constant searching for a way to reach that goal,
long in the distance, as Nick described it. "Gatsby believed in the
green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before
Gatsby's goal gave...