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Great Gatsby Failure Essay Research Paper The

Great Gatsby: Failure Essay, Research Paper

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a portrayal of the withering of the American Dream. The American Dream promises prosperity and self-fulfillment as rewards for hard work and self-reliance. A product of the frontier and the west, the American Dream challenges people to have dreams and strive to make them real. Historically, the Dream represents the image of believing in the goodness of nature. However, the American Dream can be interpreted in different ways. While some may strive for spiritual goodness and excellence, others take the dream to represent purely materialistic values. This is the case of Jay Gatsby, and Fitzgerald shows this through conflict and symbolism that such a materialistic interpretation of the American Dream is the very cause of Gatsby s downfall.

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This blured version of the American Dream is represented primarily by the conflict between the newly rich and the established rich, the East Eggers and the West Eggers. West Egg is the home of Jay Gatsby and those like him who have made huge fortunes, but who lack the traditions that come with inherited wealth. The West eggers live in a crude world, coming from the adoption of wealth as their only standard in achieving the American Dream. The East Eggers, represented in The Great Gatsby by the Buchanans, have the ingerited traditions that come with wealth and lack the crudeness of the West Eggers. They have been corrupted by the ease that their money has provided. Due to their inherited traditions, the East Eggers naturally regard any change in the social hierarchy as a threat to the entire structure of society.

An example of this is shown when Tom Buchanan makes a remark about the separation of the family and eventual intermarriage between black and white. The idea is if we don t look out the white race will be utterly submerged. It s all scientific stuff; it s been proved. It s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things. (p.17). Thus, the wealth of the West Eggers and that of the East Eggers result in similar human differences, though shown differently. That is why West Egg and East Egg appear so identical. They are both withering away from the promise of the American Dream.

Another Example of the corrupt American Dream is the automobile, a classic symbol of material wealth in America. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is obsessed with a life of materalism. He owns a remarkable automobile whose appearance is envied by many people. It 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 sun (p. 68). Gatsby s car is an overblown item created by wealth to fulfill the American Dream of personal material success. It is, however, Gatsby s car that kills Myrtle Wilson when Daisy runs her over. This indirectly leads to Gatsby s own death and portrays Fitzgerald s theme that basing the Dream on materialism alone is ultimately destructive.

Along with the automobile, Jay Gatsby himself is a symbol of the corruption of the American Dream. He is a romantic dreamer who seeds to fulfill his life by earning is wealth as a bobster. 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 the 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… (p.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. The corruption of Gatsby s dream by adopting materialism as its means and love, beauty and youth as its goal is due to the corruption of the American Dream.

Fitzgerald s presentation of symbolism and conflict expresses clearly that a life based on materialism alone is a corruption rather than a fulfillment of the American Dream. Gatsby s destruction shows that those who try to maintain a lifestyle based purely on materialistic values are doomed by their self-delusion.

Thus, by analyzing Fitzgerald s presentation and analysis in The Great Gatsby, to America as a whole, one can say that people s thoughts and values are often misplaced in the pursuit of material wealth.

On one level, the novel comments on the careless gaity and moral decadence of the period. It contains innumerable references to the contemporary scene.

The wild extravagance of Gatsby s parties, the shallowness and aimlessness of the guests and the hint of Gatsby s involvement in crime all identify the period and the American sitting. But as a piece of social commentary, The Great Gatsby also describes the failure of the American Dream, from the point of view that American political ideals conflict with the actual social conditions that exist.

For where as American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the truth is that social discrimination still exist and the divisions among the classes can not be overcome. Myrtle s attempt to break into the group to which the Buchanan belong is doomed to fail. Taking advantage of her vivacity, her lively nature, she seeks to escape from her own class. She enters into an affair with Tom and takes on his way of living. But she only becomes vulgar and corrupt, like the rich.

She scorns people from her own class and loses all sens of morality. And for all her social ambition, Myrtle never succeeds in her attempt to find a place for herself in Tom s class. When it comes to a crisis, the rich stand together against all outsiders. Myrtle s condition, of course, is a weaker reflection of Gatsby more significant struggle. Whily Myrtle s desire springs from sociall ambition, Gatsby s is related more to his idealism, his faith in life s possibilities. Undoubtedly, his desire is also influenced by social considerations; Daisy, who is wealthy and beautiful, represents a way of life which is remote from Gatsby and therfore, more attractive because it is out of reach.

However, social consciousness is not a basic cause. It merely directs and increases Gatsby s belief in life s possibilities. Like Myrtle, Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group, but his attempt is more urgent because his whole faith in life is involved in it. Failure, therefore, is more terrible for him. His whole carreer, his confidence in himself and in life is totally shattered when he fails to win Daisy.

His death when it comes is almost insignificant, for, with the collapse of his dream, Gatsby is already spiritually dead.

A social satire, The Great Gatsby is also a comment on moral decadence in modern American society. The concern here is with the corruption of values and the decline of spiritual life a condition which is ultimately related to the American Dream. For the novel recalls the early idealism of the first settlers.

Fitzgerald himself relates Gatsby s dream to that of the Gatsby s hope. The book also seems to investigate how Americans lost their spiritual purpose as material succes wiped out spiritual goals. The lives of Buchanans, therefore, filled with material comforts and luxuries, and empty of purpose, represents this condition. Daisy s lament is especially indicative of this: What ll we do with ourselves this afternoon? cried Daisy, and the day after that, and the next thirty years? (p.125)

Fitgerald stresses the need for hope and dreams to give meaning and p rpose to man s efforts. Striving toward some ideal is the way by which man can feel a seense of involvement, a sense of his own identity. Certainly, Gatsby, with his extraordinary gift of hope, set against the empty existence of Tom and Daisy, seems to achieve a heroic greatness. Fitzgerald goes on to state that the failure of hopes and dreams, the failure of American Dream itself, is unavoidable, not only because reality can not keep up with ideals, but also because the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realised.

The heroic presentation of Gatsby, therefore, should no be taken at face value, for we cannot overlook the fact that Gatsby is naive, impractical and oversentimental. It is this which makes him attempt the impossible, to repeat the pas. There is something pitiful and absurd about the way he refuses to grow up.

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a portrayal of the withering of the American Dream. The American Dream promises prosperity and self-fulfillment as rewards for hard work and self-reliance. A product of the frontier and the west, the American Dream challenges people to have dreams and strive to make them real. Historically, the Dream represents the image of believing in the goodness of nature. However, the American Dream can be interpreted in different ways. While some may strive for spiritual goodness and excellence, others take the dream to represent purely materialistic values. This is the case of Jay Gatsby, and Fitzgerald shows this through conflict and symbolism that such a materialistic interpretation of the American Dream is the very cause of Gatsby s downfall.

This blured version of the American Dream is represented primarily by the conflict between the newly rich and the established rich, the East Eggers and the West Eggers. West Egg is the home of Jay Gatsby and those like him who have made huge fortunes, but who lack the traditions that come with inherited wealth. The West eggers live in a crude world, coming from the adoption of wealth as their only standard in achieving the American Dream. The East Eggers, represented in The Great Gatsby by the Buchanans, have the ingerited traditions that come with wealth and lack the crudeness of the West Eggers. They have been corrupted by the ease that their money has provided. Due to their inherited traditions, the East Eggers naturally regard any change in the social hierarchy as a threat to the entire structure of society.

An example of this is shown when Tom Buchanan makes a remark about the separation of the family and eventual intermarriage between black and white. The idea is if we don t look out the white race will be utterly submerged. It s all scientific stuff; it s been proved. It s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things. (p.17). Thus, the wealth of the West Eggers and that of the East Eggers result in similar human differences, though shown differently. That is why West Egg and East Egg appear so identical. They are both withering away from the promise of the American Dream.

Another Example of the corrupt American Dream is the automobile, a classic symbol of material wealth in America. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is obsessed with a life of materalism. He owns a remarkable automobile whose appearance is envied by many people. It 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 sun (p. 68). Gatsby s car is an overblown item created by wealth to fulfill the American Dream of personal material success. It is, however, Gatsby s car that kills Myrtle Wilson when Daisy runs her over. This indirectly leads to Gatsby s own death and portrays Fitzgerald s theme that basing the Dream on materialism alone is ultimately destructive.

Along with the automobile, Jay Gatsby himself is a symbol of the corruption of the American Dream. He is a romantic dreamer who seeds to fulfill his life by earning is wealth as a bobster. 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 the 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… (p.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. The corruption of Gatsby s dream by adopting materialism as its means and love, beauty and youth as its goal is due to the corruption of the American Dream.

Fitzgerald s presentation of symbolism and conflict expresses clearly that a life based on materialism alone is a corruption rather than a fulfillment of the American Dream. Gatsby s destruction shows that those who try to maintain a lifestyle based purely on materialistic values are doomed by their self-delusion.

Thus, by analyzing Fitzgerald s presentation and analysis in The Great Gatsby, to America as a whole, one can say that people s thoughts and values are often misplaced in the pursuit of material wealth.

On one level, the novel comments on the careless gaity and moral decadence of the period. It contains innumerable references to the contemporary scene.

The wild extravagance of Gatsby s parties, the shallowness and aimlessness of the guests and the hint of Gatsby s involvement in crime all identify the period and the American sitting. But as a piece of social commentary, The Great Gatsby also describes the failure of the American Dream, from the point of view that American political ideals conflict with the actual social conditions that exist.

For where as American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the truth is that social discrimination still exist and the divisions among the classes can not be overcome. Myrtle s attempt to break into the group to which the Buchanan belong is doomed to fail. Taking advantage of her vivacity, her lively nature, she seeks to escape from her own class. She enters into an affair with Tom and takes on his way of living. But she only becomes vulgar and corrupt, like the rich.

She scorns people from her own class and loses all sens of morality. And for all her social ambition, Myrtle never succeeds in her attempt to find a place for herself in Tom s class. When it comes to a crisis, the rich stand together against all outsiders. Myrtle s condition, of course, is a weaker reflection of Gatsby more significant struggle. Whily Myrtle s desire springs from sociall ambition, Gatsby s is related more to his idealism, his faith in life s possibilities. Undoubtedly, his desire is also influenced by social considerations; Daisy, who is wealthy and beautiful, represents a way of life which is remote from Gatsby and therfore, more attractive because it is out of reach.

However, social consciousness is not a basic cause. It merely directs and increases Gatsby s belief in life s possibilities. Like Myrtle, Gatsby struggles to fit himself into another social group, but his attempt is more urgent because his whole faith in life is involved in it. Failure, therefore, is more terrible for him. His whole carreer, his confidence in himself and in life is totally shattered when he fails to win Daisy.

His death when it comes is almost insignificant, for, with the collapse of his dream, Gatsby is already spiritually dead.

A social satire, The Great Gatsby is also a comment on moral decadence in modern American society. The concern here is with the corruption of values and the decline of spiritual life a condition which is ultimately related to the American Dream. For the novel recalls the early idealism of the first settlers.

Fitzgerald himself relates Gatsby s dream to that of the Gatsby s hope. The book also seems to investigate how Americans lost their spiritual purpose as material succes wiped out spiritual goals. The lives of Buchanans, therefore, filled with material comforts and luxuries, and empty of purpose, represents this condition. Daisy s lament is especially indicative of this: What ll we do with ourselves this afternoon? cried Daisy, and the day after that, and the next thirty years? (p.125)

Fitgerald stresses the need for hope and dreams to give meaning and p rpose to man s efforts. Striving toward some ideal is the way by which man can feel a seense of involvement, a sense of his own identity. Certainly, Gatsby, with his extraordinary gift of hope, set against the empty existence of Tom and Daisy, seems to achieve a heroic greatness. Fitzgerald goes on to state that the failure of hopes and dreams, the failure of American Dream itself, is unavoidable, not only because reality can not keep up with ideals, but also because the ideals are in any case usually too fantastic to be realised.

The heroic presentation of Gatsby, therefore, should no be taken at face value, for we cannot overlook the fact that Gatsby is naive, impractical and oversentimental. It is this which makes him attempt the impossible, to repeat the pas. There is something pitiful and absurd about the way he refuses to grow up.

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