The Great Gatsby And The American Dream Title: The Great Gatsby Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

1078 words - 4 pages

F. Scott Fitzgerald is famous for writing the "Great American Novel" known as The Great Gatsby (Baker 123). This epic novel portrays life in the 1920's during the jazz years, prohibition, and World War I. The story seems to take on a theme of romance, success, wealth, moral values and happiness or what is thought of as the "American Dream."However, as it turns out, due to easy money and the carefree social values of the era, The Great Gatsby depicts a story of the "withering of the American Dream" (Criticism 125).Jay Gatsby falls in love with Daisy, a wealthy, romantic socialite who is on a different social scale than him. Gatsby idealizes her and believes if he becomes wealthy he will regain her love from an earlier romance before he left for war."She becomes an embodiment of a romantic dream" (Baker 112).Daisy actually married Tom while Gatsby was gone during World War I. He buys an expensive house across from Daisy so he can look out at her. A green light that shines from her dock symbolizes hope that he may one day have her again.His fantasy of her becomes his personal version of the American Dream ("Novel Guide"). His dream to win her back becomes an obsession and ends up controlling his life.According to Neuhaus, Gatsby was great, not just in Nick Carroway's vision, his neighbor and friend, but in ours, because Fitzgerald brilliantly represents in Gatsby both the failure of the American Dream and its perpetual refusal to die (Neuhaus 9).This infatuation for Daisy eventually inadvertently leads to his death. While driving Gatsby's car home Daisy accidentally hits Myrtle. Gatsby takes the blame for Myrtle's death instead of Daisy being guilty of the crime. Gatsby is later shot to death by Wilson, Myrtle's husband, because of the false accusation.This American Dream for the perfect love becomes Gatsby's downfall ("Great Gatsby"). He loved someone and was willing to do anything to get her back no matter what the cost. The sad part is she was not at all worth all of this attention. She was ruthless, materialistic and immoral.According to Baker, "If we fail to reach that new world, we will simply imagine a bigger and better one, like Gatsby" (Baker 123).After World War I Gatsby returned to Long Island, New York to resume his life and his relationship with Daisy. Business was boomingThe stock market value was rising quickly and money was abundant. People from all walks of life could easily make a fortune.However, families with what was considered "old money" looked down on the people with newly acquired money. Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as lacking in taste.Gatsby believed in the American Dream of a self-made man. He felt he could be successful by earning lots of money and by being known in all the social circles. He invented himself to be someone he wasn't. He even pretended to be a graduate of Harvard and the son of a rich man.In 1919 the 18th amendment banned alcohol and this created a demand for bootleg liquor. Jay Gatsby who wanted to...

Find Another Essay On The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Title: The Great Gatsby Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream

1136 words - 5 pages , fame, power, and glory. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a highly symbolic examination of America in the 1920's on the whole, and in particular the downfall of the original American Dream in an era of extreme wealth and material excess. Fitzgerald disapproves of the American Dream, yet he uses a likeable character to show its collapse. He makes a commentary on the delusion of American idealism in that time period, using Jay Gatsby to

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1240 words - 5 pages the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the narrator, Nick Carraway, believes Gatsby to be a great person with a “gorgeous” personality. It is Nick’s perceptions of Gatsby that encourage the reader to also find him “great.” Gatsby, through his actions, his dreams, and his heart, distinguishes himself from the “foul dust” and makes himself “worth the whole damn bunch put together.” Gatsby creates an illusion for others, as he manages to

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1441 words - 6 pages Since the beginning of time, man has written himself into history. Whether it was on cave walls, or in scripts, men have wanted to leave behind a legacy. One of the most well known men is author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had always wanted to write the greatest American novel- and so he created the Great Gatsby. Although it is not the greatest American novel, it is studied by high schools and has several movie adaptions. However, he had to

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1236 words - 5 pages The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the unbelievable story of a man who was forsaken by his one true love, and his ongoing struggle to reclaim her heart. Fitzgerald does a outstanding job of capturing the idea of the true American dream. The novel highlights the concept of the affluent spending without consequence; this thematic structure of the text parallels the concept of the American dream in current popular culture and for this

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

600 words - 2 pages Theme Analysis of The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic twentieth-century story of Jay Gatsby's quest for Daisy Buchanan, examines and critiques Gatsby's particular vision of the 1920's American Dream. Written in 1925, the novel serves as a bridge between World War I and the Great Depression of the early 1930's. Although Fitzgerald was an avid participant in the stereotypical "Roaring Twenties" lifestyle of wild

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1386 words - 6 pages Quantity over Quality The Great Gatsby is a short novel written by Scott Fitzgerald. It is set in the 1920’s, and like Fitzgerald, the novel is fervently identified with the Jazz age. The Jazz age was a time of self- indulgence squeezed between World War I and the Great Depression. The theme throughout the novel is recognized as the prestigious “American Dream” which holds a strong and honored place in American history. In The Great Gatsby, F

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1774 words

1774 words - 7 pages sells illegally gained bonds. Daisy Buchanan is the love interest of Mr. Gatsby. She is of old money and old respectability. Never in her wildest dreams would she give up her comfortable life to marry a man like Gatsby. Gatsby and Daisy are from different worlds, he from crime and she from respectability. She would do anything to keep it that way. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print. Gross

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1505 words - 6 pages The American Dream can be defined as the freedom to pursue one's goals and desires, the opportunity to overcome socio-economic barriers that previously held one in place. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the idea that the American Dream is just an illusion which dances on the waves of opportunity in America but never quite makes it ashore. Fitzgerald salutes the American Dream but warns against the dangers of living to fervently

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 2275 words

2275 words - 9 pages The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream’. Explore the theme of dreams in ‘The Great Gatsby’. How significant is this

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 2098 words

2098 words - 8 pages , like Gatsby, it makes people blind to the real world. Faith is like the American Dream, they can both create success and lead to tragedy. Works Cited Bewley, Marius. "Scott Fitzgerald''s Criticism of America." F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Arthur Mizener. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 125-42. Questia School. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. Bizzell, Patricia. "Pecuniary Emulation of the Mediator in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1156 words

1156 words - 5 pages age, also called the roaring 20’s was a time of economic prosperity, constant partying and overall optimism and happiness. What F. Scott Fitzgerald does in his novel is express the part of the jazz age that nobody talks about, which is the large focus on wealth, materialistic tendencies, and looming sense of superiority. The Great Gatsby consists of many symbols. The first of these symbols is the Green light at the end of the dock that Gatsby can

Similar Essays

The American Dream: F. Scott Fitzgerald "The Great Gatsby"

1679 words - 7 pages activities and immoral values are factors that have contributed to the corruption of the American Dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby clearly shows how the American Dream has become corrupt and how it has become less about the hard work, and more about the results that are obtained through any means possible.In the novel The Great Gatsby, the corruption of the American Dream is shown in part by the greed of the characters. Greed is

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald

1555 words - 6 pages To some people in this world the most important thing to them is to fulfill their American dream. The American dream has changed throughout the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is how important that dream is to people. One great example of the importance of the American dream is The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald puts a lot of detail and mystery into his book trying to make people think about what each characters dream was

The American Dream In The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

730 words - 3 pages Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby symbolizes the American dream. The American dream offers faith in the possibility of a better life. Its intention is the belief that material wealth alone can bring that dream to reality. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald brings together both these ideas. Jay Gatsby thinks money is the answer to anything he encounters. He has the best of everything. The fanciest car, the

"The Great Gatsby" By F. Scott Fitzgerald. Discusses The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1121 words - 5 pages more and more infatuated with possessions. The characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby each work for their own American Dream. Jay Gatsby, the central character of the novel, has worked from nothing to become a very successful man. Jay is successful in the meaning that he is very rich and has everything most of the people in the novel would want. This is not what Jay is striving for though. Jay doesn't care about the money, cars