The American Dream By: Tan Ly

Essay by viethelldragonCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.5

The Great Gatsby is a very popular American novel of the Jazz Age. On the surface it reads as a tragic love story. But between the plot points, the book speaks to many important themes in American life including idealism, aspiration, and disillusionment with the American dream. On another level, Fitzgerald addresses a more philosophical and disconcerting realization that our dreams are often illusions, founded on romantic ideals easily crushed by harsh reality.

The American Dream was the philosophy that brought people to America and to start a new life in a strange, foreign land. Due to this dream, it was believed that America was the land of opportunity, wealth, and prosperity. The dream consists of three components: all men are equal, man can trust and should help his fellow man, and the good, virtuous and hard working are rewarded. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby," is a condemnation of American Society and focuses on its downfall.

This holds true for three of the main characters in the novel, Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchannan, and Daisy Buchannan. To reach his ideal dream of spending his life with Daisy, Jay Gatsby attains his millions in a corrupt way which help him to replace emotions, and tries to cover it up with lies throughout the novel. In order to become rich, Gatsby engaged in illegal occupations such as bootlegging and being involved in the Mafia. Wolfsheim and he bought and sold grain alcohol over the counter. This is the opposite idea of the American Dream, which states that only the good, virtuous and hard working are rewarded. Gatsby also lies his way through life to conceal his wrongdoing. Gatsby claims that he belongs to a rich family whom provides his way to Oxford and from whom he inherits his...