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Great Gatsby - American Dream

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jessicafang
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The American Dream, fueled by ambition and hopes of success, can often be exposed as a nightmare in disguise. Set in the roaring twenties, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby demonstrates such a point, criticizing the American Dream as well as the dishonest values of characters attempting to achieve this dream. When Nick Carraway moves to Long Island's West Egg, home to the newly rich, he is not expecting to get dragged into an atmosphere of depravity and deceit. Next door lives the elusive Jay Gatsby, a self-proclaimed Oxford man who throws extravagant parties at his mansion with the sole intention of reuniting with Daisy Buchanan, his lost love and true desire. The American Dream was traditionally the belief that anyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to be happy and successful through hard work, yet as America evolved, the dream did too. The once virtuous ideal modernized into a plot for materialistic power. By the end of the novel, Fitzgerald is trying to project the idea that the American Dream is not only an unattainable ideal, but in addition, corrupts those who seek to obtain it.
Firstly, Gatsby's unrealistic dream of Daisy is used to portray the unattainability of the American Dream. In Gatsby’s mind, Daisy is perfect in every aspect and the object of his greatest desire. He becomes so engrossed with the image of Daisy from his memories, that even she herself cannot fulfill his expectations: "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion" (Fitzgerald 92). This illusion of Daisy's excellence is shattered as he is forced to unwillingly accept Daisy’s inadequacies. Showing ceaseless perseverance and hope, “Gatsby believed in

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