The Red Badge of Courage, The great Gatsby by Scott Fitzergerald

Essay by James HsuCollege, UndergraduateA, March 1997

download word file, 2 pages 3.0


The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald embodies may

themes, however the most salient one relates to the

corruption of the American Dream. The American Dream is

that each person no matter who he or she is can become

successful in life by his or her own hard work. The

dream also embodies the idea of a self-sufficient man,

an entrepreneur making it successful for himself. The

Great Gatsby is about what happened to the American

dream in the 1920s, a time period when the dream had

been corrupted by the avaricious pursuit of wealth. The

American dream is sublime motivation for accomplishing

ones goals and producing achievements, however when

tainted with wealth the dream becomes devoid and hollow.

When the American dream was pure, motivation and

ambition were some key aspects of the pure American

dream. 'He stretched out his arms toward the dark water

in a curious way...and

distinguished nothing except a

single green light'(page.26). It shows how Gatsby was

striving for the his goal and trying to accomplish it.

When the dream was pure, motivation and self-discipline

were present. This quote talks about Gatsby's daily

agenda and how in the earlier days he upheld the pure

American Dream 'No wasting time at Shafters, No more

smoking or chewing, Read one improving book or magazine

per week, Save $3.00 per week, Be better to parents'

(page 181-182). Nick says 'I became aware of the old

island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes-a

fresh green breast of the new world'(page 189). This

quote shows the pristine goals of where the

possibilities were endless and one could accomplish

anything through hard work.

The American dream became corrupted, its main aims

were wealth and power. Gatsby became corrupted because

his main goal was to have Daisy.