, Research Paper
The Failure of the American Dream
In the classic novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Buchanan, George Wilson and Jay Gatsby fail to achieve the American Dream. The American Dream is the combination of happiness, love and hard honest work. The above characters try throughout the novel to obtain these characteristics but fail in the end.
Tom did not live the American Dream due to many factors. First of all Tom and Daisy weren t happy (152) with one another because they weren t faithful to each other. Tom cheated on Daisy and didn t even try to hide his affair from her. Tom did not attain love with his wife because Daisy fell in love with Gatsby. According to Nick, She had told [Gatsby] that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He looked astounded (125). Even though Tom had a relationship aside from his marriage he still was shocked that Daisy could do the same. Another reason he does not reach the American dream is that he never earned his money his family were enormously wealthy (10). Therefore he didn t work for the money that he had but got it from his rich family. Tom is very arrogant according to Nick and got that way because he always had a lot of money at his reach and never worked for anything he had in his life.
Wilson tried to gain the American dream through out his life but did not succeed. Wilson did not live a happy life because he nothing to say for it. He didn t own a nice house or live in a nice area. Inside the yellow brick building were Wilson lived and worked was unprosperous and bare: the only car visible was the dust-covered wreck of a Ford which crouched in a dim corner (29). The interior was basically a dump and not somewhere that anyone wanted to live. Wilson had a wife, Myrtle, and she cheated on him with Tom Buchanan. Even though Wilson was a devoted husband he did not get the love that he disserved from his wife. As Nick comes to find out from Catherine is that Neither of them [Tom or Myrtle] can stand the person they re married to (37). This is very sad because Wilson tries to give Myrtle everything she needs but still she doesn t like him. Wilson worked very hard but didn t make any money or achieve any status from his years of toil.
Gatsby, along with the other two characters, did not fully achieve the American dream. Gatsby was never fully happy because he didn t have Daisy in his life. He did and bought things to impress people. He threw parties every weekend and never attended them himself. When Nick and Gatsby were talking about Daisy and discussing Gatsbys love for her, Nick thinks, He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then (117). Gatsby has been unhappy since the last time he saw Daisy. When Daisy was gone it was like a piece of him left also. Gatsby wants everyone to believe that he inherited his money but in fact he did illegal business to get the money he had. When asked by Nick how he got the money to buy all the things he had, Gatsby replied, I was in the drug business (95) Gatsby admits that he did illegal things to get his money but makes Nick believe that those days are over. As the story goes on we realize that he still does business with bootleggers.