Examples Of Bildungsroman In The Great Gatsby

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Over the past few centuries American society has experienced intense and dramatic changes, but the idea and concepts of the American dream have always remained constant. The American Dream is the idea that an individual can gain success in life goals that he or she sets for themselves. Typically these goals are wealth, family, and home ownership. While many people aim for these things it does not always work out the way it was intended, if at all. In American culture, it is believed that if you work hard for what you want you will earn it. Authors over the years have taken the time to analyze this concept of the American dream and write books that go against this “dream”, and show that it does not always come true. Books such as Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a bildungsroman. A bildungsroman is a novel that deals with the upcoming or coming of age of a character. This also involves “negotiating a contract with society” which is influenced by elements of fate such as gender, nationality, social status and history in their quest for success (blackboard). Scott Fitzgerald writs of the upcoming of Jay Gatsby and how Gatsby’s ambition, which can be thought of as the heart and soul of the American Dream, leads to his destruction. In literary terms ambition, in this sense, would be called hamartia. Hamartia is defined as, “A characteristic that contributes ti a tragic characters downfall, often mistranslated as “tragic flaw” (blackboard). This tragic element leads us to label The Great Gatsby’s genre as a tragedy. A tragedy is a genre where a cynical viewpoint on life is revealed where the tragic hero takes a fall, which usually includes death (blackboard). Gatsby started out as a poor boy from North Dakota in the 1920’s. During this day and age American society was a bit different than it is currently. For example, women were not as independent as they are now. Their main goal was to

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