The Unattainable American Dream

Essay by stinko318High School, 12th grade December 2008

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The American Dream is belief in the freedom that allows all citizens and residents of the United States to pursue their goals in life through hard work and free choice. One person may place monetary gain as their highest goal, and thus strive for this in a very American way, gaining through ability rather than social status. For another, the American Dream could consist of achieving a state of pure freedom, free from the choke hold of money and social structure. These two examples of the American Dream are only drops in an ever-expanding spectrum of possibilities. (Wiki) In the novel the great Gatsby wealth, love, family and power are the values of the "American Dream". Many Americans spend their whole lives in pursuit of these things. Jay Gatsby was one of these people who spent his whole life in pursuit of this idea of the American Dream and it eventually led to his downfall.

This essay will show that this concept of the American dream is unrealistic and unattainable. This is proved through the actions and their outcomes of some of the characters in the novel.

The first character to show this is Jordan Baker. Her whole character consists of her ignorance and self centeredness. Everything is simple to her because of her large amount of wealth and fame. Her fame and fortune can be short-lived as both depend on her career as a professional golfer. If this career were to end, with it her fame and fortune would disappear. She has fame, fortune and beauty, yet she is still not happy. She will do whatever it takes to win and have things her way, even lying, cheating or manipulating. This is shown in chapter 3 of the novel where Jordan is accused of cheating at the golf...