The American Dream: F. Scott Fitzgerald - "The Great Gatsby"

Essay by elusive_butterflyHigh School, 10th gradeA, October 2007

download word file, 7 pages 2.5

The original American Dream, created in the founding years of America, emphasized the budding opportunities of the American nation. The American Dream is a vision with a simple concept, to obtain: power, money, happiness, or love. Those who are lacking all or a few of these things may work hard and reap the rewards of their success. And those who are wealthy have no need to rely on this dream for happiness. The thought of this ideal was what made the American people believe that they could be great. "The Dutch sailor's eyes" (Fitzgerald 171) that first set sight on the land came with the hopes that they too could, by means of hard and honest work, obtain a superior state of living, be it physical or emotional. The idea of the American dream enticed in every man an expectation of success as a reward for his effort and at one time, these fantasies may have been true.

Greed, illegal activities and immoral values are factors that have contributed to the corruption of the American Dream. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby clearly shows how the American Dream has become corrupt and how it has become less about the hard work, and more about the results that are obtained through any means possible.

In the novel The Great Gatsby, the corruption of the American Dream is shown in part by the greed of the characters. Greed is defined in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary as "the excessive and selfish desire for wealth, power etc." This gluttony is clearly displayed by Fitzgerald through the actions of most of the characters in the novel. Daisy Buchanan displays her greed many times throughout the story. We learn of her greed when we first become aware of the fact that "Tom's got...