The American Dream Essay

Submitted By hkb12345
Words: 598
Pages: 3

The American dream is an idea that is strongly present in The Great Gatsby. This is the idea that through ambition and hard work, our opportunities are endless. The idea is that as Americans, we have been given the freedom, equality and opportunity to do as we please. It has been associated with personal happiness and material comfort sought by Americans. So basically, if one works hard enough, they will be able to achieve their dreams and goals.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald challenges the idea of the American Dream through the character of Gatsby. Gatsby wants a better life for himself so he works hard and makes money for himself, which is one aspect of the American Dream. He has money and what appears to be everything one could ask for. He throws extravagant parties, and spends his money foolishly. His drive to become successful all comes from his longing to be with the love of his life, Daisy. Gatsby wants to be accepted by Daisy, and the people she associates with, the people of East Egg. East Egg was all “old money”, where as Gatsby lived in West Egg, home to “new money.” Even through all of Gatsby’s hard work to fit in with the people of East Egg, and more importantly Daisy, Gatsby is not successful and does not get back together with Daisy in the end. In fact, Gatsby ends up being killed in the end.

Fitzgerald proves in this book that the American Dream can never realistically become a reality. People set themselves up for failure when they set their hopes too high, and make their goals unrealistic. No matter what the dream is, weather it be money, status, of just simply being happy, dreams are easily destroyed if they are not realistically attainable. Yes, it is good to have goals in life, but it is impossible to find eternal satisfaction. This is why it is the American Dream, because dreams are not real.

The definition of the American Dream has changed since the Revolutionary and Romantic Periods in American Literature. The American Dream back then was more pure and honest than it was during The Great Gatsby. During these times, things such as art, intellect, and literature, as well as freedom, where what motivated people to chase their dreams. Not things such as money and material things, as shown in The