How Did The Great Gatsby Lead To The American Dream Downfall

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Flowing through the veins of every American is the undeniable drive to succeed. This drives individuals to create riches from nothing, with an ultimate goal to create a better life for oneself. The characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, strive unsuccessfully to obtain the American Dream. The unrealistic goals of the characters in the novel ultimately lead to their downfall. The American Dream can be defined as an individuals that starts at a very low economic level. This individual would work incredibly hard towards a goal of prosperity or fame. The perfect life. A happy family, wealth, beautiful clothes all symbolize the American Dream. This dream is also a representation that people, no matter who he/she is, can achieve…show more content…
All three of these characters were led down a dark path in which they would not be able to escape from. F. Scott Fitzgerald included many different examples of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. Myrtle Wilson, a full figured, loud and disrespectful woman, is married to George Wilson, a man who buys and sells cars for a living. Both Myrtle and George do not make a satisfactory amount of money, and it is because of this that Myrtle is very unhappy. Myrtle’s American Dream is fame and fortune, something she can not accomplish with George being her spouse. “I married [George] because I thought he was a gentleman; [Myrtle] said finally. ‘I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe.” (39) Myrtle was tricked into marrying George, and lives a cheerless life because of her lack of abundance. She desired money and a higher social status, and this causes her to have an affair with a man who can provide her what she desires. “I was so excited when I got into a taxi with [Tom] I didn’t hardly know I wasn’t getting into a subway train. All I kept thinking about, over and over, was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever”. (38) Myrtle is blinded by her dream, and now is only doing selfish acts to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true. She is never truly interested in Tom, but only his money, and although Tom gives her…show more content…
Jay Gatsby is introduced to readers as a classy, rich and mysterious man. As everyone attends his parties, but not a single person seemed to know just who he was. Gatsby’s entire life was an obscure unknown, and this caused much talk among the town. When readers are finally introduced to Gatsby, he is described as having a smile that made you feel as though you knew him for a long time, and he had a compelling aura to him that made you feel as if “it understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” (49) But as the book continues, Gatsby’s life is not what it was expected to be. Gatsby fell in love with a young Daisy many years ago, and since that moment, he turned his life around to become everything that she wanted. Once he achieved greatness, he built a miraculous house across the bay from which she lived, and waited for her. "’Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.’ Then it had not been just the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor. (63) Gatsby’s American Dream was to win Daisy over. He has turned her into an idealized perfection and pursues her with a passionate love that blinds him to many things.

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