Books and Movies Reviews

The Great Gatsby -T he American Dream

What exactly is the American Dream? Does it mean to be happy, successful, famous and wealthy? For Jay Gatsby, the rich, young businessman from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby it meant all of these things. Set in the 1920s American society, The Great Gatsby explores various aspects of life for many different people, of different classes during this time. The three most important places depicted by Fitzgerald are West Egg representing the newly rich, East Egg the old aristocracy, and New York City the uninhibited, amoral quest for money and pleasure. Another name for the 1920s is the Jazz Age, characterized by freedom, exuberance, and hedonism. Living in this era, Gatsby had to focus on his portrayal of the American dream. His picture of it was special because he desired his early lover, Daisy Buchanan. Therefore his embodiment of the American Dream was much more than a materialistic one.
In addition, Gatsby's reason for becoming wealthy was to bring back the days he lost with Daisy. "If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away" (Fitzgerald, p.6). This quote shows how Gatsby was determined to live his American dream. This included the luxuries of his expansive home, and his big car, but most importantly, the love of Daisy. "When he (Gatsby)first met her, Daisy becomes the symbol of what he could have attained had he been wealthy"(Gross, p.11). Gatsby would climb any ladder, no matter how high, to achieve this dream of attaining Daisy.
Additionally, "the American dream promised the deepest and richest self-fulfillment for those who would make the most of their natural abilities. It was, of course, partly about money and comfort, but it was also about achievement and digni…


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