The Great Gatsby Essay

1258 words - 6 pages

The ideal American Dream can be portrayed in many different ways, though generally based upon the idea of opportunity for upward mobility within society. While people move to the top of society, they accumulate the perceived good things in life: the perfect partner, high social status and respect in the workplace to go along with the unlimited wealth and power. This idea is dated all the way back to the beginning of American literature. In the past, Americans started with the basic needs and only the things they needed to get by in life. Now families are transforming into a life view filled with the perfect life, nice car, large house, and the ideal family. In The Great Gatsby the main character Jay Gatsby was born into a family with no money, he had to work towards achieving the dream life he wanted. With that dream in mind; a hard working Jay becomes blinded by the luxurious and plentiful possessions that he now has. These distractions take away from what he really is searching for: love and happiness. Is the American dream of materialism, wealth, love, and happiness too good to be true? Can one really have it all at once? The idea of the American dream has become corrupted and consumed by the mistaken idea of materialism and wealth.
Within the beginning of the novel you learn that Gatsby is a lavish man who hosts an abundance of parties for numerous guests, although the readers strangely find out that none of the partygoers are truly friends of his. The underlying meaning of these lavish parties is not to show off the large amount of wealth by buying expensive things and entertaining, but a search and desire for something more. Shortly after you are introduced to a man named Nick Caraway who gives insight of just how much Gatsby’s dream is not so perfect after all. Nick discovers that Gatsby’s wealth comes from suspicious underground business which conflicts with his morals. While Gatsby spent his life working to become a rich man, it was not for the reasons you would expect; “He has lived not for himself, but for his dream, for his vision of the good life inspired by the beauty of a lovely rich girl” (Fahey 71). This lovely rich girl is known Daisy Buchanan, a women married to Tom Buchanan and also the love of Jay Gatsby’s life. The two met five years prior to her marriage, but were separated when Jay was forced to go off to war. The root of his desire for wealth occurs back to when Daisy’s parents did not approve of Gatsby for their daughter due to the fact that he came from a poor family. Jay is once again blinded, this time by the beauty and grace of Daisy and fails to see that Daisy is not who she appears to once be. He craves her for the realization of his golden family in his perfect dream, but really Daisy is far from that.
Throughout the novel Fitzgerald shows that Daisy is self-centered and careless at heart; she is a dreamer who fails to face reality. Continuing an affair with Gatsby with no real intentions of leaving her husband...

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