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"The Great Gatsby" And The American Dream

1487 words - 6 pages

Discovery, Individualism, and the pursuit of happiness, this is the American Dream. Or at least what it used to be. People live their whole lives trying to accomplish this dream, but few actually do, why? How are the odds not in the favor of a million and more citizens? It's because the American Dream no longer exists. Laziness, easy money, and light-hearted values have corrupted the American Dream. "The Great Gatsby" at first seems like a story about a man, Jay Gatsby, and his lost love. This is true, however underneath it all there's a less attractive plot; the truth about Americans, the hypocritical materialistic America. We are all chasing after something, but is it to better ourselves or just another dollar in our pocket."The Great Gatsby" is much like an autobiography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Although the names and the geographical locations are different, there are undeniable similarities between Fitzgerald's life and "The Great Gatsby". Fitzgerald grew up in the Midwest, St. Paul, Minnesota. During his schooling he was a mediocre student but he was still accepted into Princeton, an Ivy League college. Fitzgerald dropped out and joined the army near the end of World War I. When he was enlisted he was stationed at a camp in Alabama, where he fell in love with a beautiful young woman, Zelda, which was the candy apple to every soldier's eye. She was a wild rich seventeen year old who lived life dangerously. She never thought much of the boys' hearts she broke; as long as she got a kick out of it in the end. Nonetheless Fitzgerald was determined to marry her, he had no money and no social recognition, her parents frowned on him and he couldn't support her lavish lifestyle. Zelda did accept Fitzgerald's proposal, but she put the wedding off until Fitzgerald could prove that he could support her the way she wanted. With the publication of This Side of Paradise Fitzgerald gained the social recognition and money that Zelda asked for in exchange for her hand in marriage. His new found celebritism and untamed wife led him to many reckless parties and to hastily squandering his money to support their chaotic lifestyle.There are two characters that represent Fitzgerald in this story. The first of which is Jay Gatsby, a love-sick young man who idealizes luxury and wealth. Gatsby is from a small town in North Dakota. His real name is James Gatz. He had no money and no social prestige. Gatz became infatuated with the idea of wealth; he started himself on a schedule to self-improvement at a young age in order to attain his dream. He attended St. Olaf, but dropped out because he couldn't stand his janitorial job that paid his tuition. Gatsby then worked on Lake Superior where he met Dan Cody, wearing a green jacket. The Jacket is important to note because the color green is a reoccurring theme that directly relates to the characters dreams. Cody brought Gatz on to his yacht where James Gatz became Jay Gatsby. They traveled the world and Gatsby absolutely...

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