Filter Your Search Results:

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay


In the 1920s the American Dream was something that everyone struggled to have. A spouse, children, money, a big house and a car meant that someone had succeeded in life. A very important aspect was money, and thats what greatly determined success. This was not true in all cases however. Jay Gatsby was a poor boy that turned into a very wealthy man, but did he live the American Dream? Money is actually the only thing that Gatsby had a lot of. Jay Gatsby tries to live the life of The American Dream, but fails in his battle.

Gatsby certainly lacks many of the qualities and fails many of the tests normally linked with greatness, but he redeems this by his exalted conception of himself.

Today society sets their goals by planning the future and trying to make their plans come true. We make the difference by trying to achieve what we know is possible. It may take step by step, but it may not always be achieved. The outcome of it all is that what is planned should be determined to become reality. Jay Gatsbys motivation was his love for Daisy. In order to achieve his goal with Daisy he throws unbelievably lavish parties in his mansion, and gets Nick to invite her to tea. Gatsby dedicates himself to winning her back after several years. He sets plans to succeed his motivation.

By setting goals and making plans for his life shows his organized and desperate side when he mentions: No wasting time at Shafters, No more smoking or chewing, Read one improving book or magazine per week, Save $3.00 per week, Be better to parents(173). He wants to make plans so he can focus on his future and succeed. Gatsbys goal was not all the way achieved but his dedication toward his goal, is what made him stand out. This hints when Nick says: A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: 'There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired (79). While Gatsby couldnt be the pursued he was the pursuing. He didnt completely achieve his goal, as Nick states: Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock....his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him. (180), but made worth the time trying to.

Another goal may be inspiration. Seeing something done or being around a person with positive qualities may inspire the person that is being inspirited to achieve the same qualities. This comes in when Nick observes how great Gatsby is during the book. For someone who is open minded and a good listener like Nick Carraway, Gatsby tends to put his trust in him. Nick then sees how great Gatsby is revealing him as: a son of God and he must be about his fathers business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end(98).

Nick first referred to Gatsby as his mysterious neighbor, but when Gatsby threw his party, Nicks meets Jordan- a 23-year-old woman's golf champion. Through Jordan, Nick later learns more about his mysterious neighbor. As Nick admires Gatsby throughout the novel, it gives him heads up for future reference. As to all the lies and betrayal he was surrounded by, he sees the way Gatsby deals with the situation and gives him his name the great Gatsby because of that. The admiration he gets from Gatsby shows his respect for Gatsby and how he looks up to him.

Nick reflects that just as Gatsbys dream of Daisy was corrupted by money and dishonesty, the American dream of happiness and individualism has disintegrated into the mere pursuit of wealth. Though Gatsbys dedication to transform his dreams into reality is what makes him great, Nick reflects that the era of dreamingboth Gatsbys dream and the American dreamis over.

You'll need to sign up to view the entire essay.

Sign Up Now, It's FREE
Filter Your Search Results: