"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream-Gatsby's quest for the dream through Daisy and the dream's corruption by her society.

Essay by nickib983University, Bachelor'sA, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 4.7

"The American Dream" is a concept that plays an important role in the novel The Great Gatsby, which was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920's, a time period when many Americans were living the dream. "The American Dream" embodies the best of America. It is the chance to gain material wealth and spiritual happiness for people who start out with nothing. People from all different countries used to come to America for the chance to turn their hard work into success. "The American Dream" is the equal opportunity for achievement and happiness. However, instead of showing us how great the dream is, The Great Gatsby shows how society has corrupted it. Through the main character, Jay Gatsby, a pure vision becomes distorted because a "...foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams". (6) In many people's cases the reality is never the same as the dream.

For Jay Gatsby, the foul dust that floats in the wake of his dreams is the society that he wants to be a part of. His views of the upper-class contrast with reality. This also includes his image of his love-interest, Daisy Buchanan. He built her image up in his mind and to him she was something beyond perfection. Daisy destroys his "American Dream" of being with her and being a part of the upper-class because she, along with her husband and the rest of the class, is selfish and irresponsible. Gatsby does not see this. He just remembers a kiss he had with Daisy five years before and how wonderful it felt. He wants to recreate that feeling even though Nick tells him that he cannot repeat the past. Gatsby just says, "Why of course you can". (116) He had spent those years devoting...