The Unfortunate Demise of the American Dream

Essay by bevpazHigh School, 11th gradeA-, October 2014

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The Unfortunate Demise of the American Dream

The novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, raises many questions regarding the American Dream. The foremost question raised is this: is the American Dream dead? First, one must decide what the American Dream actually is. The American Dream can generally be described as the idea that in America anyone can achieve happiness and success through hard work. The idea of success through hard work especially appealed to the lower classes, which saw America as the Land of Opportunity. Is America the Land of Opportunity or is the Dream dead? In The Great Gatsby, there were groups of people who supposedly achieved it, almost achieved it, and did not achieve it at all. The reasons behind why each group encountered each fate reveal the truth about the status of the American Dream.

The first group who seemed to achieve the American Dream is the Old Money.

These people, such as Tom and Daisy Buchanan, had incredible amounts of wealth and beautiful properties. Tom and Daisy, for example, owned "a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay," "a lawn that started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walls and burning garden," and several automobiles (Fitzgerald 6). The money that bought this property had not been earned through hard work. Instead, the money came from Tom's family, who was "enormously wealthy" (6). Daisy's family was rich as well and had an elegant home. The Fay's home was so gorgeous that even Gatsby "had never been in such a beautiful house before," (148). No member of the Old Money social class genuinely earned his or her own money, for the money had been earned by previous...