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American Nightmare in The Great Gatsby Essay


The American Nightmare

The American dream was a stereotype in the nineteen twenties that everyone who came to a certain part of America could get rich quick and lives the life of luxury. When we look at F. Scott Fitzgeralds book The Great Gatsby, we begin to see the basis of this stereotype and the characters in the book that begin to experience it. The American Dream deals with almost at of the characters including Nick, Gatsby and the Buchanans.

Nick Caraway was a man that moved to the east part of the United States looking for a fresh start and a new life. Upon moving to west egg, Nick finds out the beginning of his American dream. He finds that his neighbor, a man named Gatsby, was everything he wanted to be. He was rich and supposedly handsome and could get any woman that he wanted. Part of this dream looked possible to achieve when he was introduced to a woman named Jordan Baker. As he was introduced to the woman, he found himself wanting her and wanting to be with her. This generalization of different social class love represents a goal that Nick has set. Through Marxism everyone is created, or considered rather, equal in every aspect of society. The other aspect that Nick is looking at actually comes into play for him. He always envies his neighbor for being so rich, and when the opportunity is made available in the book, Gatsby offers Nick a job to work for him. However Nick turns it down. His American Dream is not subject to the pressures of society. He wants what he wants and he is going to get there on his own accord with no ones help.

Gatsby is a little bit different of a story. He already has everything that every person in America wants. He has wealth, women and property. However he wants something else. He wants to re-establish the ties he once had with his long lost love Daisy. No matter how hard he tries he does not realize that you can change events of the past. I think that he has an American nightmare in the sense that he can never get what he wants. Daisy, who is married already, would have to leave her husband and get a divorce. She would have to live with the guilt and live the rest of her life if she wanted to be with Gatsby. His dream is one that is not so easily reached.

The Buchanans are a complicated situation. Each person seems to be either bored with their spouse or just looking for a new adventure to begin in their lives. Tom, a successful athlete/businessman, is married to Daisy. They seem to have a successful marriage by letting on that they travel everywhere together and that they have seen the world together. They have a wonderful baby girl and money beyond money. However there is some sort of excitement missing for Tom. So, he goes to town and gets himself a mistress. Daisy, who is also bored with her marriage, starts to fall for her long lost love Jay Gatsby. Each partner in the Buchanan Marriage has reason to be bored. Daisy and Tom no longer show affection towards each other and their spark has been extinguished almost. The American dream for them is to just be happy. This dream is not possible in my opinion while they are together.

In conclusion, as we look at The Great Gatsby as a whole, F. Scott Fitzgerald tried to display a certain understanding for the Marxist theory. By showing that capitalism will soon rot away and no longer have power, he establishes a doubt that maybe communism is a better way for the economy to go. Although this book was written in the twenties it still holds strong values to what is going on in society today and how society should be run. The general idea of communism is not bad, but never has a country been pure communist and taken its true values and put them into effect. Communism is an idea that is dying out because no country can fully understand and pit into effect all of the aspects of its idea.

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