In F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' he proves the American dream to be nothing people pretending to be something they're not in hopes of a better life. So is the American dream still a living dream today? Well you would think it would be because you still hear some people still talk about it here and there, so that's what I hoped to find out. Here are some things I discovered in the process.
It seems the American dream is very popular in American Literature. While it is quite popular in others 'The Great Gatsby' is the most widely known book for the American dream. One of the greatest examples in the book of the American dream is Jay Gatsby. Even though this is true, all the characters in the book (except for one) believe it totally and completely revolves around wealth. Fitzgerald’s unique expression of the American dream lacks the sense of fulfillment that you would believe to be associated with the American dream.
The main reason people wanted a part of the American dream was the idea of wealth. There were, however, other reasons. One reason was so they could be better off than they were before. Gatsby had dreamed of a better life since he was a kid. So in order for him to try to achieve his dream, he decided to change his name from Jay Gatz to Gatsby. The American dream was the dream of many people in the 20s and 30s but very few managed to achieve it.
In the book, Gatsby’s dream was symbolized by the woman he loved but couldn’t have, Daisy. To him Daisy was wealth and she was the dream he wants to achieve. Throughout the book he tries hard to get her because she is the reason he acts the way he does. At the time he was trying to recreate his past and correct it while doing so. That is why he decided to change his name to Gatsby, because his parents were poor farmers and he wanted a life where people didn’t judge him based on his family. While trying to correct his past, he began getting into illegal stuff. Gatsby was in the drug and oil business and he claims he did what he did to achieve his dream.
After he gets out of trouble, he becomes very upset because he thought Daisy would wait for him. If she truly loved Gatsby then she would have waited, but she never really loved him. The only thing she loved was wealth, so instead of waiting she married Tom because he had the wealth she was looking for. We learn that Daisy is very materialistic and a bit of a flake. Seeing how Gatsby doesn’t understand the traditions of East Egg City, he thinks he can win Daisy over with nice shirts. Trying to do this only makes things more difficult because he is unsuccessful. Daisy is selfish, careless, and really didn’t care about anyone else’s happiness but hers. This carelessness is what eventually caused her to kill Myrtle and not keep t hidden from anyone. It is possible that Daisy killed Myrtle because of what Myrtle believed about Tom. In the book, Myrtle believed that Tom was her one chance at the American dream and she would do whatever it took to achieve her dream. Tom’s interpretation of the American dream is tied in with wealth and money like the other characters. Tom wanted everything an “important” person would have, and this is what inspired his American dream.
Ferrysmawan says this about Daisy in his review of the book. “This shows how Daisy thinks about life and how happiness can be bought by not being aware and presumably by having money and being fooled with it. The results of her dream and the methods she used to accomplish her dream led to the unhappiness of her marriage. When she again tried to capture happiness whilst keeping her dream in front of her, it ended in the tragedy that the Great Gatsby depicts.”
‘Q&A Wiki’ describes that Tom Buchanan’s American dream was “to be and stay wealthy for as long as he lived”. Tom’s morals, behavior, and greediness caused him to want everything to be just perfect and his change of character is believed to be what