Roaring Twenties And American Dream Essay Research

Roaring Twenties And American Dream Essay, Research Paper

During the Roaring Twenties, American lifestyles changed dramatically. Money was

abundant and people were going out and having fun. All of this wealth and

socializing contributes to the ?American Dream?. Jay Gatsby, the main

character of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald symbolizes everything about

this dream. Gatsby thinks money is the answer to all his problems and desires.

This includes the woman he loves, Daisy. Jay Gatsby has the best of everything:

the nicest car, the best clothes, the biggest house, and the liveliest parties.

The car during the twenties was the most important status symbol. Gatsby?s car

is one of the most expensive, magnificent cars created then. Nick Carraway is in

awe the first time he sees it: ?I?d seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a

rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous

length?? (68). Gatsby is able to make Tom Buchanan jealous with his car. Tom

takes the car into the city and tries to insult Gatsby, ?I?ll take you in

this circus wagon? (128). It is Gatsby?s dream, his marvelous car that

shatters Tom?s dream. Gatsby?s car hit Tom?s mistress, Myrtle Wilson and

kills her instantly. Jay attempts to hide his car: ?? he gave instructions

that the open car wasn?t to be taken out under any circumstances? (169). He

tells Nick that no one saw him returning to his house. Nick gets angry at this

because everyone knew the color of the car: ?I disliked him so much by this

time that I didn?t find it necessary to tell him he was wrong? (151).

Gatsby?s dream car is what indirectly leads to his death. Jay Gatsby buys his

huge mansion at West Egg in order to be directly across from Daisy Buchanan?s

house. While he is at the Buchanan?s house, he points this out to Tom:

?Gatsby?s eyes followed it momentarily; he raised his hand and pointed

across the bay. ?I?m right across from you.?? (124). Tom is again

overcome with jealousy. The way Nick describes Gatsby?s house helps the reader

it?s size and beauty: ??it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville

in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw

ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden?

(9). Gatsby asks Nick to have Daisy over for tea, just so she can see his house.

Appearance means everything to Gatsby. In his attempt to win Daisy?s love, he

decided to wear his best outfit: ?Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt

and gold colored tie hurried in? (89). He invites Nick and Daisy over to give

them a tour of his house. Everything in every room is pointed out and explained.

In his room he opens his closet and dumps out all his shirts onto the floor.

Daisy cries in frustration when she realizes he is what she wants him to be:

??It makes me sad because I?ve never seen such ? such beautiful shirts

before? (98). Daisy can not understand how Gatsby can live in such a huge

house all by himself: ???I don?t see how you live there all alone??

(96). Gatsby is a very lonely person. Although he ?keep[s] it always full of

interesting people, night and day? (96) he doesn?t quite fit in with

everyone. Many people who attend his parties have no idea who he is. At his

parties, he is usually alone somewhere observing everyone: ??standing alone

on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes.

Although to some it seems like Gatsby is fulfilling his dream, money can not buy

his happiness. Jay Gatsby?s dream revolves around recapturing Daisy?s love

for him. Daisy Buchanan does fall in love with Jay Gatsby. She does not marry

him and marries Tom instead because he ?was poor and she was tired of waiting

for [him]? (137). At first, Gatsby is able to catch Daisy in the thrill of

being changed. She begins to have an affair with him and wants him all to

herself: ??some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance

at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of

unwavering devotion? (115). Although Gatsby?s wealth drew Daisy closer to

him, his money would never keep her. Daisy gets tired of men deciding everything

for her and breaks down: ??Oh, you want too much! I love you now ? isn?t

that enough? I can?t help what?s past. I did love him once ? but I loved

you too?? (139-140). Jay Gatsby?s dream is crushed and he no longer has

too much to live for. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is incredibly

written to help the reader understand what was going on during the Jazz Age. The

two main characters, Nick and Gatsby help balance the book?s effect. All the

themes and symbols are wonderfully added to the story. The whole issue on the

?American Dream? intrigued me because everything in the book is connected to



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