Fitzgerald And The American Dream Essay Research

Fitzgerald And The American Dream Essay, Research Paper

. The American Dream promises prosperity and fulfilled desires as rewards for hard work

and self-reliance. The American Dream is often considered to go hand and hand with

good-naturednis. However in F. Scott Fitzgerald s novel The Great Gatsby were are introduced

to another perception of the American Dream. That some may believe that the American Dream

goes hand in hand with goodness and excellence, however others take the dream to be purely

materialistic. Fitzgerald shows through conflict and symbolism that Gatsby s desire for material

wealth instead of goodness and excellence causes his downfall.

Gatsby is obsessed with a material goods. “[The car] was a rich cream color, bright with

nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and super-boxes

and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns.”(68)

The car is supposed to be a positive representation of the American Dream. However it is a car

that kills Myrtle Wilson when Daisy runs her over. This indirectly leads to Gatsby’s own death.

The weath and prestiege that the car is supposed to represent is turned into a symbol of


The character of Jay Gatsby is a symbol of corruption also. He is a romantic dreamer who

seeks to fulfill his life by earning his wealth as a mobster. Gatsby does not change much in the

course of the novel because his whole life is devoted to the fulfillment of a romantic dream

created that is inconsistent with the realities of society. At a very early age Gatsby vowed to love

and to marry Daisy Buchanan. His lack of wealth led Daisy into the arms of another more

prosperous man, Tom Buchanan. Gatsby believed that he could win Daisy back with money, and

that he could get the life she wanted if he paid for it. He wanted to do away with time in order to

obliterate the four years Tom and Daisy had together. Gatsby wanted to repeat the past, “I’m

going to fix everything just the way it was before. She’ll see . . .”.(117) Gatsby’s romantic

disregard for reality changes the American Dream with his dream that love can be recaptured if

one can make enough money.


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