The American Dream Within a Corrupt Society, a comparison between life and "The Great Gatsby"

Essay by jumboj72High School, 12th gradeA, December 2003

download word file, 3 pages 4.6

In Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, all characters are, in one way or another, attempting to achieve a state of happiness in their lives, despite a troubled society. The main characters are divided into two groups: the rich upper class and the poorer lower class, a class struggling to attain higher status. Though only some characters seek to change their lives for the better, the idealism and spiritualism of the American Dream is inevitably crushed beneath the harsh reality of life during the time of the 1920's. Fitzgerald utilizes the social status of his characters to capture the sense of the time period. By exploring the importance and power of dreams, as they foresee the future of many, Fitzgerald explores problems with a growing, ever-changing society.

The destroyed American Dream is one idea leading to a troubled 1920's society that is portrayed in the novel The Great Gatsby. Throughout the novel, Jay Gatsby is presented as both debonair and in the same light mysterious.

Although he has achieved high financial status, Gatsby hasn't found happiness within his life. Gatsby's metamorphosis starts when he meets Dan Cody, and acquires money by his association with him. It is Cody's death which symbolizes the start and end to yet another life, that of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby had been given a new start when he met Dan Cody, however, boths status and financial standing caused despair in their lives. During his time after Dan Cody, Gatsby quickly became one of societies "play-toys". He was being used, talked about and falsely misled by his newly acquired "rich" friends. Gatsby never really fit into the high-class society. "...Girls were swooning backward playfully into men's arms, even into groups, knowing that someone would arrest their falls--but no one swooned backward on Gatsby, and no French bob...