Unhealthy Pursuits In F. Scott Fitzgerald´S The Great Gatsby

741 words - 3 pages

Literature has been portraying the idea of the American dream in many different stories throughout all of history. This dream can be defined as someone rising from the bottom and finding wealth and love in their everyday life. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the storyline illustrates the life of several characters pursuing the American dream in New York City. The characters are all by intrigued Jay Gatsby, the man who lives across the bay with the biggest house in the city. Every person wants to gain the wealth that Gatsby has. The corruption of this desired American dream develops throughout the novel as the characters pursue love and money yet ultimately end up broken-hearted, empty-handed, or dead. During the time period of The Great Gatsby, the empty and superficial way of life was masked by the glamour and wealth that the people were absorbed in.
Fitzgerald reveals the American dream in The Great Gatsby by using Nick's observations of Gatsby's wealth. When Gatsby is meeting up with Daisy, Nick says, "...Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor." The word "overwhelmingly" carries a strong tone to indicate how much Gatsby focused on wealth. Fitzgerald writes that wealth imprisons mystery and youth. Mystery and youth could be used in other situations to make positive descriptions, but when he says "imprisons" Fitzgerald suggest the negativity found in the pursuit of wealth. The phrase "freshness of many clothes" usually points to wealth and owning much. He says "many clothes" when he brings up Daisy. This could mean that Gatsby feels wealthy when he has Daisy, or perhaps he appreciates her for her value. Consequently, he compares her to gleaming silver to point to her beauty and value in his life. The last phrase in this quote discusses the poor. The wealthy people like Gatsby, felt safe in their wealth and were unconcerned about the poor people because they focused more on their own wealth. This pursuit of wealth was one of the main principles that the...

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