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The American Dream Paper

909 words - 4 pages

The idea of the American Dream emerged in the early days of the American settlement, with the majority of poor immigrants arriving to America seeking opportunities for a better life. The American Dream then spread with the Declaration of Independence that represents an attitude of hope (Wikipedia, 2016). The Declaration of Independence states that “all man are created equal and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” (The Charters of Freedom, 2016). This means that the idea of the American Dream is originally about finding happiness that everyone can achieve through hard work. However, in “The Great Gatsby”, F. Scott Fitzgerald discusses the corruption of the American Dream during the 1920s to mean that money will bring happiness, which led to the desire for wealth by whatever means. Fitzgerald demonstrates this through different aspects of Gatsby’s life that was corrupted and destroyed by the illusion of living the American Dream through accumulating wealth.
Jay Gatsby, who is actually James Gatz, comes from a modest family but eventually starts to be obsessed with the idea of the American dream so he decided to become rich and reinvent himself completely. This includes changing his name in an attempt to create a new and successful man that people could admire so he can win back his love, Daisy. Daisy is a rich girl who represents the symbol of all that Gatsby strives for and dreams of. For Gatsby, to be with Daisy means he achieved his American Dream because he cannot get her unless he is rich. His thinking revolves around money even when he describes Daisy, he says her voice is “full of money, that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song in it” (Fitzgerald, 115). It is very clear that Gatsby started striving to meet the American Dream at young age. For example, he has his everyday routine planned out in a book, which shows that Gatsby wants to improve himself to a point where he can succeed. However, Gatsby comes closer to his goal of being rich only when he comes in contact with shady people who introduce him into the way of making a fortune through illegal activities. During that period, even though he made some money, he is rejected by Daisy whose background is far more distinguished than his. After that, Gatsby had even more reason to become a completely different person. He has lived not for himself, but for his dream of the wealthy life inspired by being with a rich girl.
Regardless of his wealth, Gatsby is not happy because Daisy is married with another man and she seems to ignore him, which is one of the reasons why he throws expensive parties to attract her attention. Even though a lot of people attend his parties,...

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