"The Great Gatsby" and The American Dream

Essay by jblnickHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

download word file, 6 pages 4.8

Discovery, Individualism, and the pursuit of happiness, this is the American Dream. Or at least what it used to be. People live their whole lives trying to accomplish this dream, but few actually do, why? How are the odds not in the favor of a million and more citizens? It's because the American Dream no longer exists. Laziness, easy money, and light-hearted values have corrupted the American Dream. "The Great Gatsby" at first seems like a story about a man, Jay Gatsby, and his lost love. This is true, however underneath it all there's a less attractive plot; the truth about Americans, the hypocritical materialistic America. We are all chasing after something, but is it to better ourselves or just another dollar in our pocket.

"The Great Gatsby" is much like an autobiography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Although the names and the geographical locations are different, there are undeniable similarities between Fitzgerald's life and "The Great Gatsby".

Fitzgerald grew up in the Midwest, St. Paul, Minnesota. During his schooling he was a mediocre student but he was still accepted into Princeton, an Ivy League college. Fitzgerald dropped out and joined the army near the end of World War I. When he was enlisted he was stationed at a camp in Alabama, where he fell in love with a beautiful young woman, Zelda, which was the candy apple to every soldier's eye. She was a wild rich seventeen year old who lived life dangerously. She never thought much of the boys' hearts she broke; as long as she got a kick out of it in the end. Nonetheless Fitzgerald was determined to marry her, he had no money and no social recognition, her parents frowned on him and he couldn't support her lavish lifestyle. Zelda did accept Fitzgerald's proposal, but she...