Mirna B. Alvarez
AP English Literature
December 14, 2012 The 'Great' Pursuit of Happiness Part of the American dream is to live long and die young. The idea of the American dream represents the qualities of wealth, ambition, conquering one's goals and significantly the pursuit of happiness. This dream starts low on the economic or social level but with hard work it is possible to obtain prosperity. Having money, a car, a big house, nice clothes and a happy family symbolizes the American dream. The belief of the American dream and what represents can be applied in the novel
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald. Throughout the novel the theme of the American takes an important role and impact in main characters especially the protagonist Jay Gatsby. Everyone wishes to encounter the pursuit of happiness but in order to obtain it you have to be aware of the consequences.
The Great Gatsby shows what happened to the American Dream in the 1920’s, which is a time period when the dreams became corrupted for many reasons. The pursuit if the American dream not only leads to success but also has caused destruction.Lies, schemes and dishonesty take an important role in the pursuit of the ‘great’ American dream and Jay Gatsby is a great example it. Since Gatsby first saw Daisy he fell in love. They met a while back before anybody knew who he was. When Gatsby made his fortune and found her again wanted to have her more than ever. He feels she does not like Tom and really wants him. He wants to be able to
start a family with Daisy and wants nobody else. He tried to do everything to get Daisy to be his, but in the end nothing was working. Gatsby tried to practically bribe her by showing how much money he has by throwing the magnificent parties. He got his money by being a scammer. He was a bootlegger and nobody respected them even though they were needed for them to drink. Gatsby "cheated" his way to become rich. Moreover, it seemed as if Gatsby had it all going for him because had money, power and people knew his name. “They’re a rotten crowd…. You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together” (Fitzgerald 162). The narrator of the story Nick introduces this quote to express his admiration towards Gatsby.
However, nobody knew who he actually was which caused him to have no friends except for
Nick. He also did not have Daisy who he was destined to be with and would stop at nothing to get her. Gatsby made dishonest acts in order to obtain Daisy’s love. In Gatsby's case the pursuit of the American dream started as a challenge but ended up tragically because of his dishonest actions. The ambition to pursuit his happiness thrown Gatsby over the edge. His love and chase for
Daisy takes over his whole life. He has to live up to the American dream to accomplish what he truly dreams for, which is Daisy.
"There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams no through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion..." (Fitzgerald 92).
While Gatsby was away fighting in the war, Daisy met Tom and married him. Daisy had always been rich and Gatsby thought that in order to get Daisy back, he needed to have money so he could give Daisy anything she wanted. Pursuing happiness was Gatsby's
motivation to obtain what he wanted the most, Daisy's love but in order to obtain it he had to do many dishonest actions. The green light has a crucial significance in this novel. It becomes evident that the light is a symbol representing Gatsby’s dream of having Daisy. The fact that Daisy falls short of Gatsby’s expectations is obvious. Knowing this, one can assume that no matter how much
Gatsby tries to live his fantasy, he will never be able to