Comparing The American Dream In The Great Gatsby, By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson). These infamous words have been a foundation for American society for over two hundred and fifty years, and are embedded in the heart and soul of every American’s dream. The idea of the glamorous “American Dream” is one of the most important themes threaded into the text. Although, in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald uses the American Dream as a destructive and addicting drug that forces the characters to succumb to its power, which in the end causes them immense pain, due to their excessive lifestyles. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s…show more content…
Despite being born into a poor family young James Gatz (Gatsby) makes it to the big city with the help of a sailor and entrepreneur Dan Cody, to fulfill his dreams of becoming a powerful man in society. The means by which Gatsby acquires his fortunes are a true Catch 22 in their own right because Gatsby finds his wealth in the sale and distribution of alcohol during the Prohibition Era, which is highly illegal. Jay Gatsby’s dream is to find love and prosperity with a former flame of his, Daisy Fay, who marries Tom Buchanan as a result of Gatsby going off to fight in the Great War. Naturally, the audience’s first glimpse of the Great Gatsby is in chapter one where Nick Carraway describes him with outstretched arms, ambitiously fetching for his dream, the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. “… he stretched his arms out toward the dark water… I could have sworn he was trembling…[I distinguished] nothing except a single green light, minute and far away” (Fitzgerald 26). Typically a reader might just think that Gatsby is mental, but do not forget to pay respects to the onion! Jay Gatsby is not reaching for a green light; he is reaching for Daisy, his dream. Daisy is the green light, which symbolizes hope and youth throughout the novel. Gatsby’s attempts to fit in with the elite class, his “extraordinary gift for hope” (6), and his deep longing for…show more content…
Despite Nick’s dream to be a self-made man and be a part of the elite class, the complete and utter truth is that Nick Carraway will never mesh well with the East-Eggers because he possesses a major cardinal virtue. Specifically, the mannerism that distinguishes Nick most from all the other characters in the story is his immense honesty. In fact, Nick takes pride in this attribute and blatantly states, “I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known” (64). By suggesting this to the readers it gives the story’s audience a sense of trust and reliance on Nick Carraway’s judgment of his contemporaries. Nick’s version of the American Dream is subtler than the others. In brief, Nick Carraway wants the money and access of the elite east-eggers, but he does not wish to be so flamboyant with his treasures. Nick reunites with Daisy Buchanan, his cousin, who is married to “old money” or in other words, Tom Buchanan. In his heart, Nick knows that his tolerant and reserved personality will never fit in with Daisy’s crowd, but he chooses to give it a go anyways. His first party with his newfound “friends” gets him drunk for the first time in his life and the second time was that very afternoon! It is through Daisy that Nick meets Jordan Baker, who opposes all of his moral values, but he still falls head over heels for her. Jordan’s careless and

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