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Gatsby And The American Dream

Essay by 24  •  December 28, 2010  •  670 Words (3 Pages)  •  939 Views

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In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the American Dream represents a climb from rags to riches while enjoying love, wealth, and high social status; however, this is never enough, as the dreamer will always desire for more. Only a certain few, the elite upper class, are able to obtain this dream. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby fails to achieve the American Dream because of his inability to fit in with the elite social group.

Jay Gatsby, narrator Nick Carraway's neighbor, is the man who lives in the grand mansion in the West Egg. He is surrounded by wealth and the finest clothing and cars. He hosts glamorous parties every week. However, as Nick learns more about Gatsby, he finds out that Gatsby's past was different than the life he lives now. He was born into poverty, "His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people." (Fitzgerald 98), while "despising the janitor's work." (Fitzgerald 99). However, because of his never ending ambitions of self-improvement and his plans of achieving dreams, he changes his role in the world from a janitor, into a self-made millionaire. Throughout the novel, Gatsby always strives for improvement, although not always making the right moral decisions. He earns his fortune from the drug and liquor industry, and even attempts to take away his lover, Daisy, from her own husband.

As Gatsby becomes introduced to wealth, he buys himself a new home, an "imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with...a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby's mansion." (Fitzgerald 5). Gatsby believes that wealth can buy him anything he wants. He makes "friends" who are actually self-interested and greedy who only arrive at his mansion to enjoy the lavish parties he throws. He believes that materialistic items will make Daisy fall for him; when he meets Daisy, he attempts to impress her by showing her his mansion, he also "took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel." (Fitzgerald 92). Gatsby is captivated with Daisy and tells Nick that "her voice is full of money." (Fitzgerald 120). Gatsby's fascination with Daisy is related to his belief that he can buy Daisy with cold cash instead of love. Gatsby fails to understand that he

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