Failure of the American Dream The setting is in Long Island, New York on the parts of East Egg and West Egg. West Egg is home of the "new"� rich people and East Egg is home to the distinguished rich families. Nick Carraway has just moved into his new shack right next to the huge elegant mansion of Jay Gatsby in West Egg. In East Egg lives Nick's cousin Daisy with her husband Tom Buchanan. These two places are separated by a large mass of water, but are connected by land on the side. Midway between New York City and West Egg lays a dump known as the valley of ashes. This valley is the home of George and Myrtle Wilson. All of the main characters pass through this ash dump at one point or another during the novel. All of the main characters are chasing the American Dream.
They might not be doing it in completely legal ways, but they were all after the same thing. They did not think before they acted and ended up worse off than they were originally. Almost all people chase after the American Dream, but it can ultimately be catastrophic.
Nick had participated in World War I and after returning home found himself restless in the Mid-West and decided to move to New York to get into the bond business. He was egger to start his new job and had a positive outlook on the world. Nick then meets his new and mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby and everything slowly begins to unfold about his past and wealth. By the end of the book Nick has lost his friend and is so disgusted with the moral less values of the East that he decides to return back to the Mid-West, "After Gatsby's death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted beyond my eyes' power of correction. "¦ I decided to come back home"� (185). He went for his dream and at the end it is easy for the readers to come the conclusion that Nick will always have a bad impression of the East considering the events he has seen and the corrupt people he has interacted with.
Jay Gatsby is probably the most confusing character to decipher in this book and perhaps that is why his name appears in the title. We are never really sure if he is happy anywhere at any point in the book and we are also unsure of what his dream is until later. We are first introduced to him near the end of chapter 1. He is standing on his lawn with his arms outstretched towards a green light across the water. At his elaborate parties he keeps himself distant from his guests. He requested Jordan Bakers company in private. Later in the evening when everybody is beginning to leave, she and Gatsby emerge and Nick asks Jordan how long they have been in there and her reply is, "Why, - about an hour"� (57). He also does not seem to partake in the consumption of alcohol, which he as provided such an abundance of. He has incredible wealth, but the readers are not sure where it comes from. In chapter 4 we learn that Gatsby is friends with Meyer Wolfsheim who acts somewhat odd at lunch we learn that ""¦ he's a gambler"¦. He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919"� (78). Gatsby is also pulled over for speeding on the way to lunch, but upon showing the policeman a white card, is immediately released and receives an apology. It is most certainly clear that Gatsby has some underground connections, which is a possible explanation for his wealth. Later in chapter 4 learn the Gatsby and Daisy were once in love, but when Gatsby went away in the war, and Daisy ended up marrying Tom. Gatsby bought his mansion in West Egg to be near Daisy. Gatsby wants Nick to arrange a meeting between himself and Daisy. At their reunion it is first awkward, but then they seem to hit it off pretty well. He invites Nick and Daisy to his house to show off his wealth to Daisy and she is overwhelmed by it, "Suddenly with a strained sound Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily"� (98). Daisy and Gatsby share this secret love for a few weeks and Tom begins to become suspicious. Gatsby wants things to be like they were in the past, but Nick points out that you cannot recreate the past. In chapter 7 we find Tom, Daisy, Gatsby, Jordan, and Nick all at the Buchanan's house for lunch and this is where Daisy and Gatsby can no longer hide their love for each other, "As he (Tom) left the room again she (Daisy) got up and went over to Gatsby, and pulled his face down kissing him on the mouth"� (122). A little later after lunch, Tom notices their love, "She (Daisy) had told him (Gatsby) that she loved him, and
People want to be happy and wealthy and that is what they go after, but sometimes you cannot have your cake and eat it too. All the characters I have described in the book went for the American Dream and all did not achieve it. People should also be more careful about their decisions and actions and this could help them reach their goals.