Graham Whittaker /
Wednesday, April 09. 2014
The False Reality of the American Dream in the Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a novel that has a large focus on the ideas of the American Dream and social class in the 1920s. In the novel, the people of West Egg and East Egg are people of the upper who have earned money either through inheritance or working hard and have had many opportunities to make their American Dream a reality. The people of the Valley of Ashes are people of lower class who have little to no money and have to work all their lives to make ends meet. Even though both social classes strive for the same thing, The American Dream, neither of them will ever truly achieve it. Fitzgerald uses a vast contrast in the settings of East Egg, West Egg, and The Valley of Ashes to display the reoccurring theme of a pre-set social class and to expose the false reality that the American Dream presents upon society.
F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the people of East Egg and West Egg to show the false reality that is the American dream and how it can never be achieved because the human race will always want more. East Egg and West Egg are full of rich and successful people. The people East Egg made their money through inheritance and occupy a station of very high class and carry themselves as such. The people of West Egg however have earned their money and occupy a position of high class but are still observed as being lower than the people of East Egg. One of the residents of West Egg, Jay Gatsby, went from being dirt poor to having more money than he knew what to do with through boot legging alcohol and organized crime. Gatsby, like all people, has a dream, and his dream is to be a man among the gods and Daisy, a resident of East Egg whom he fell in love with long ago, is right in the middle of it. The one thing that Gatsby wants more than anything is to have Daisy by his side for the rest of his life. Gatsby eventually reunites Daisy and his dream has finally come true. But Gatsby wants more, “[Gatsby] wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon more practical measures to be taken.” (Fitzgerald 109). Gatsby wanted more and more of Daisy and he will not rest until she tells Tom that she never loved him. Gatsby goes as far as to plan a dinner party so that Daisy can tell Tom in front of everyone and this dinner party ends up being his down bringing. At the party even Daisy goes as far as to say ““Oh, you want too much!"-"I love you now – isn't that enough? I can't help what's past."-"I did love him once – but I loved you too."” (Fitzgerald 261). Gatsby’s greed and obsession with wanting more and more sees to it that Gatsby will never fully achieve his dream. Fitzgerald also uses his character Tom, the husband of Daisy, to show that the American Dream cannot be achieved. Tom...