May 15, 2015
The American Dream? Simply a Dream?
The controversial idea of the American Dream being a reality is arguable; However, in
The Great Gatsby
, the fundamental idea that is conveyed throughout the novel is that the American Dream “The idea that any American, with enough resolve and determination, can climb the economic ladder, regardless of where he starts in life (
Michael W. Kraus, Shai
Davidai and A. David Nussbaum 1)
” is indeed a fantasy. The famous Jay Gatsby’s story is told by Nick Carraway, a man who is riveted with his surroundings of wealth and fortune. Nick lives next door to millionaire Jay Gatsby, who despite being wealthy and successful, never attains his
American Dream: winning the heart of Daisy. Fitzgerald shows the audience that the American dream is unattainable for someone who isn’t old money (a group of people who were inherited their wealth). The American Dream is not only based on wealth, but based on what one’s heart truly wants. In this case, Gatsby’s American Dream was marrying Daisy Buchanan and this was not fulfilled. Instead it ended in Gatsby's tragic death. To clinch Fitzgerald’s argument, it can also be said that anyone who isn’t in the one percent lacks opportunities, are caught up in their everyday expenses and financial obstacles, and overestimate the ‘easiness’ of getting to the
Millions of people in the United States, particularly minorities, are not exposed to opportunities that can potentially change their entire lives for the better. In Charles Dervarics’
Study: Minority, LowIncome Students Lack Adequate Access to Educational
, it is stated that
“ 3,000 schools serving nearly 500,000 students offer no classes in
Algebra 2, a key component of the SAT and other indicators of college readiness” (Dervarics 1).
This critically reflects how horrible our education system does at providing opportunities. The fact that so many minority students do not have access to take Algebra 2 or any other course that is not provided kills the chance of a student potentially getting a higher score on their SAT.
Without any knowledge on a higher level math course, not only would a student not do as well on the SAT/ACT, but they would also not do well in college if they even make it that far.
Without an education or a college degree, young adults stand little chance in thriving in society or achieving their american dream. Like minorities in the United States, people such as George
Wilson are not as fortunate as Gatsby or Tom Buchanan when it comes to being given opportunities or even luck. Dying long before this whole novel took place, Dan Cody was a major influence on Gatsby and his financial success. Dan Cody was a wealthy, successful man who spent most of his time sailing around in his Yacht and took in a poor young man by the name of James Gatz. Cody trusted Gatsby and treated him like a son. Being exposed to Cody was beneficial to Gatsby because it gave him a glimpse on how wealthy people act, think, and over all helped shape the Jay Gatsby we all know of today. After the audience discovers that Dan
Cody died, we also learn that “ it was from Cody that he inherited money”(Fitzgerald 104).
Unlike Gatsby, George Wilson was never lucky enough to have met people like Dan Cody, other than Tom Buchanan. However, Tom never lets George Wilson into his personal life, considering
Tom’s affair with Mr. Wilson’s Wife, Myrtle. Also, Tom was not like Dan Cody; Despite them both being wealthy, Tom is not opening or generous like Dan Cody. Therefore, Wilson and most
people in the United States are not as fortunate as Gatsby or Tom because he never had the chance to make connections with generously wealthy people.
Trying to achieve one’s American Dream is incredibly difficult when there are constant financial obstacles