The Great Gatsby

Gatsby’s American Dream

The “American Dream” is a set of ideals in which the freedom is defined as opportunities for success and prosperity. The Great Gatsby is an American novel about the outrageously wealthy Jay Gatsby, set in New York in the 1920’s. The idea of the “American Dream” is featured prominently in this novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  So what is Gatsby’s idea of the “American Dream”?

Jay Gatsby wants to attain the “American Dream” to woo and capture the beautiful and wealthy Daisy Buchanan. His idea of success is fantastic wealth, grand parties, huge mansions, fine clothes, finger bowls of champagne, and giant swimming pools. Daisy values wealth, success and fame and Gatsby achieves them all. His ultimate goal is to be with Daisy Buchanan but she is married to another man. Gatsby’s “American Dream” is built around a fantasy.

At the end of the book, Gatsby is shot, and no one, not even Daisy Buchanan, comes to his funeral. I think that Fitzgerald is trying to say that money cannot buy you happiness. Gatsby’s “American Dream” in fact was achieved by criminal activity, in which he lost his innocence and sold his soul to reach great wealth. To really attain happiness, Gatsby needed friends he didn’t have, compassion he lost to criminal activity, and kindness he couldn’t understand. Gatsby’s dream was nothing but an empty dream.

My “American Dream” is of equality, of a country where everyone gets the same rights and privileges, that are achieved by honesty, hard work, and integrity. In this way my “American dream” is the polar opposite of Gatsby’s who attained outrageous wealth from crime, while so many other people starved. He cared for most no one else, and he luxuriated in material objects that he didn’t need.

The Great Gatsby, in my mind, really shows the ridiculous amount of wealth that people used to consume for selfish purposes and still do today.  Jay Gatsby’s major flaw, is that he loses sight of what life and happiness are about. Because of this Jay Gatsby never knows the true “American Dream”.

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