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Connection of Great Gatsby to The American Dream

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Human-Written

Words: 713 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 713|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Foundation of the American Dream
  2. The Pursuit of Wealth as a Measure of Success
  3. Illusion versus Reality in the American Dream
  4. The Demise of the American Dream
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” This famous closing line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, encapsulates the themes of disillusionment and the illusory nature of the American Dream. Set in the Roaring Twenties, the novel explores the lives of the wealthy elite and serves as a scathing critique of the American Dream and its unattainable promises. Through the characters' relentless pursuit of wealth and social status, The Great Gatsby unveils the corrupt and ephemeral nature of the coveted American Dream.

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The concept of the American Dream has been deeply ingrained in the fabric of American society, embodying the ideals of freedom, opportunity, and success. However, as portrayed in The Great Gatsby, the pursuit of the American Dream, particularly in the form of material wealth and social standing, can lead to moral decay and disillusionment. This essay will examine the foundational elements of the American Dream, the characters' pursuit of wealth as a measure of success, the dichotomy between illusion and reality in the American Dream, the demise of the Dream, and the relevance of the novel’s message to modern society.

The Foundation of the American Dream

In order to fully comprehend the illusory and corrupt nature of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby, it is essential to understand its core elements. The American Dream embodies the principles of freedom, opportunity, and success, promising individuals the chance to improve their social and economic status through hard work and determination. However, this idealized vision of the Dream has evolved over time, with its historical origins rooted in the pursuit of land ownership, entrepreneurship, and upward mobility. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, experienced firsthand the socio-economic disparities of the 1920s, which heavily influenced his perspective on the American Dream. In his writings, Fitzgerald depicted the Dream as an unattainable and ultimately corrupt notion, characterized by its emptiness and moral decay.

The Pursuit of Wealth as a Measure of Success

The character of Jay Gatsby exemplifies the destructive nature of the American Dream, particularly in his relentless pursuit of wealth as a means to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby’s opulent mansion, lavish parties, and extravagant lifestyle serve as symbols of his pursuit of the American Dream, ultimately leading to his downfall. Furthermore, the novel portrays how the relentless desire for material wealth becomes a marker of social status and identity, perpetuating a cycle of moral corruption and disillusionment.

Illusion versus Reality in the American Dream

While The Great Gatsby depicts the façade of the American Dream through luxurious living and false identities, it also highlights the emptiness of materialism and the unfulfilled promises of the Dream. The characters in the novel, particularly Gatsby and Daisy, ultimately realize the hollowness of their pursuits, as material wealth fails to bring them genuine happiness or fulfillment. This stark discrepancy between the illusion and reality of the American Dream further underscores its corrupt and illusory nature.

The Demise of the American Dream

The tragic outcomes and disillusionment experienced by the characters in The Great Gatsby signal the demise of the American Dream. Gatsby’s untimely death and Daisy’s moral and emotional detachment epitomize the ultimate failure and hollowness of the Dream. Moreover, the novel emphasizes the perpetuation of inequality, corruption, and moral depravity as the consequences of idealizing the unattainable Dream.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, The Great Gatsby serves as a poignant critique on the illusory and corrupt nature of the American Dream. By examining the characters' relentless pursuit of wealth, the dichotomy between illusion and reality in the Dream, and its ultimate demise, the novel sheds light on the moral decay and disillusionment inherent in the pursuit of the American Dream. In today’s society, The Great Gatsby’s message remains relevant, prompting us to critically examine and reevaluate societal beliefs and values. The novel encourages further reflection on the American Dream and its impact on individuals and society as a whole, leaving us to ponder whether the Dream is an elusive mirage or a tangible reality.

References

  1. Scott, F. Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby. Scribner, 1925.
  2. Trask, David F. The American Dream: A Cultural History. Rizzoli, 2012.
  3. Smith, Andrew F. “The American Dream and the Power of Wealth in The Great Gatsby.” The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review, vol. 7, no. 1, 2009, pp. 49-64.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Connection of Great Gatsby to the American Dream. (2024, January 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/connection-of-great-gatsby-to-the-american-dream/
“Connection of Great Gatsby to the American Dream.” GradesFixer, 29 Jan. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/connection-of-great-gatsby-to-the-american-dream/
Connection of Great Gatsby to the American Dream. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/connection-of-great-gatsby-to-the-american-dream/> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Connection of Great Gatsby to the American Dream [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 29 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/connection-of-great-gatsby-to-the-american-dream/
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