Sign In
Not register? Register Now!
You are here: HomeEssayLiterature & Language
1 page/≈275 words
3 Sources
Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
MS Word
Total cost:
$ 4.05

The American Dream in the Great Gatsby (Essay Sample)


The American Dream in the Great GatsbyThe American Dream in the Great Gatsby


Author’s Name
Instructor’s Name
Date of Submission
The American Dream in the Great Gatsby
Scott F. Fitzgerald’s famous and most studied novel, The Great Gatsby, was published in 1925. The book is set among the opulently wealthy New Yorkers during the Roaring Twenties. The 1920s is often described as the decade of jazz, a period marked by significant social change and considered an age of success and the American Dream. The American Dream is a long-held belief in American society that every diligent and industrious individual can ultimately attain freedom, prosperity, and class mobility. Therefore, it defines a profoundly idealistic and optimistic conception of American life and the idea that prosperity and success await those who uphold the virtues of honesty, hard work, thrift, and diligence. The key idea of the dream is that all men are created equal. Hence every individual can succeed irrespective of their familial background or class status. The Great Gatsby is a clear depiction of how individuals derail and face challenges as they pursue the American dream, proving that the pursuit of fantasy can ruin the lives of the millions who chase after the elusive goal.
The Great Gatsby is set in the 1920s, when most Americans aimed to build economic prosperity. Unfortunately, it is evident in the book that the age of success quickly turns into an era of downfall. The novel presents the fact that many Americans during the period had a misguided idea of what the American dream entailed but had lost fundamental ideals such as independence, self-reliance, prosperity, and contentment to become purely materialistic and corrupt (Kochan 14). The book’s main protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is a self-made millionaire who has achieved material success. However, his only dream is to win the heart of Daisy Buchanan, whom he views as the ultimate embodiment of the American dream. In the first chapter, Tom records that, 'Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch, she blossomed for him like a flower, and the incarnation was complete (Fitzgerald 119).
In the book, members of the upper class are engaged in acts of heartlessness, excesses, egotism, and self-aggrandizement. Judging from the self-centeredness, the lack of empathy, the total disregard for others among the wealthy that pervades the novel's storyline, the author is able to outline the rot, emptiness, and corruption that surround the lives of those who have seemingly attained the American Dream (Kochan 19). Jay Gatsby, for example, is an upstart who makes a fortune from illegal activities. Gatsby’s life changes at a young age when he meets Dan Cody at the age of seventeen hence lives his entire life pursuing the elusive dream (Batchelor 39). However, there is a tragic turn towards the end of the novel since Daisy stays with Tom Buchanan and Gatsby fails to attain what he desires most. His was a dream that could not be achieved ‘…his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in the vast obscurity beyond the city…’ (Fitzgerald 180).
The different characters within the book also either comply with or display the main characteristics that entail the whole idea of the American dream and the obsession with wealth and success. Gatsby's character is a visible representation of the American dream, coming from humble roots and rising to become immensely wealth (Kochan 20). In contrast, the c

Get the Whole Paper!
Not exactly what you need?
Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:

Other Topics:

  • My Takeaways from the Webinar 'Resilience, Strength, and Creating Positive Change in ECE'
    Description: I wanted to learn more about ways of building a resilient society in ECE and enhancing a positive move as far as change is concerned. Positive change can be realized if all accept to be vulnerable. That is expressing feelings without having to fake anything. We can build on our strengths by dealing fearlessly...
    3 pages/≈825 words| 3 Sources | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |
  • Art Movement of the Tang Dynasty in China
    Description: The Tang Dynasty art movement began as a result of social and political change that was witnessed in China from 581 to 907 CE. The political change witnessed involved the reunion of China under the Sui dynasty after the fragmentation for more than 400 years (Sullivan 121). The Tang Dynasty followed from...
    2 pages/≈550 words| 2 Sources | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |
  • Frankenstein Critical Analysis Evaluation
    Description: The first critique of “Frankenstein” is one that was printed on La Belle Assemblee magazine on 17th March, 1818. The author of the critique starts of by reiterating that it is quite a bold fiction which can easily be judged as being impious. Frankenstein is a novel that would perhaps be the greatest source...
    3 pages/≈825 words| 1 Source | MLA | Literature & Language | Essay |
Need a Custom Essay Written?
First time 15% Discount!