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The Great Gatsby Essays and Criticism

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❶Whether their money is inherited or earned, its inhabitant are morally decadent, living life in quest of cheap thrills and with no seeming moral purpose to their lives.

Three Themes in The Great Gatsby

Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby
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The dream is represented by the ideas of a self-sufficient man or woman, who works hard to achieve a goal to become successful. The American dream not only causes corruption but has caused destruction. Myrtle, Gatsby and Daisy have all been corrupted and destroyed by the dream.

The desire for a luxurious life is what lures Myrtle into having an affair with Tom. This decision harms her marriage with George, which leads to her death and loss of true happiness. Myrtle has the hope and desire for a perfect, wealthy and famous type life. When Myrtle first got married to George Wilson, she thought that she was crazy about him and thought that they were happy being together.

I knew right away I made a mistake. She looks at Tom in a different way. She looks at him as someone who can afford to buy their own suit for their own wedding. She believes that Tom is the ideal picture perfect man that represents the advertisement of the American Dream.

Myrtle sleeps with Tom to inch her way to an upper class status. People who are upper class are the ones that have money, drive fancy cars, and have nice, big houses.

This later on causes destruction, and destroys Myrtle. It was later found that Daisy was the one that hit Myrtle with her car which resulted in the death of Myrtle. It is ironic that Daisy was the one that killed her, since Myrtle was having an affair with her husband, Tom. This shows how the desire for a luxurious life and having the American dream, only caused destruction in this novel and destroyed someone life. The hope for happiness is something that Daisy hoped to have, but by finding out she married the wrong man changed who she is and her over outlook on life.

Early on in the novel, Daisy finds out a secret that Tom is hiding from her. You learn throughout the novel that Tom and Daisy relationship is not to most ideal, happy relationship. Tom seems to be abusive towards her, and rather does not seem to care much about her. Daisy thinks she has everything, wealth, love and happiness which all tie into the American dream, but then she discovers that she has nothing and that she has been corrupted by this specific dream.

She thought she has all she desired for but truly realized she had nothing. She has a child, who does not seem important to her at all.

The child is never around, which shows a lot about Daisy. The baby has to be a beautiful fool in order to be happy and successful. Daisy thought she had love when she married Tom, but truly in the long run, only came out with money. With Gatsby, Daisy realized something that broke her heart. When reunited with Gatsby, who she has not seen in about five years Daisy breaks down and starts to cry. She figures out that she could have married for money with Gatsby but would have had love too.

The ambition for something has thrown Gatsby over the edge. His love and chase for Daisy has taken over his whole life. He feels that he has to live up to the American dream to accomplish what he truly dreams for, which is Daisy. The Great Gatsby, set in the s, represents the demise of the traditions and values behind the American Dream as the desire to be rich took over. The novel appears to deal with the failed relationship of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, however the overall theme has to do with the culture of the s and the cultural elements that led to the downfall of the American Dream.

The new meaning of the American Dream combined with its altered results created the idea that money equated to happiness in the s. This change was the eventual demise of what the American Dream was as well as the demise of the country as well. During the s, the American Dream was perceived as attainable by anyone, regardless of family history or social status, if they worked hard enough.

While Gatsby does not solely represent the s man living the American Dream, Fitzgerald created a character that resembled the corruption and misinterpretations surrounding the values and ideas behind the American Dream during the time period.

The wealth and power must be put into evidence. It was not enough anymore to obtain the life of the American Dream without outdoing your neighbor and advertising your success. The hard work success story became overshadowed by the outcome of the success, allowing society to lose sight of what the American Dream really was.

Men like Gatsby overlooked all aspects of the American Dream other than money, and focused on becoming wealthy over all else. Originally, the American Dream was the act of rising through social and economic standings through hard work that was rewarded solely by the satisfaction of having accomplished something. However, men in the s like Gatsby shed away from this tradition and instead flaunted their excessive wealth through materialism.

Gatsby had to seek reassurance from others to prove not only to everyone else, but also to himself that he had accomplished something impressive. Because of this insecurity, Gatsby spent every weekend throwing extravagant, lavish, drunken parties as the host of hundreds of people he did not know. It was not about creating actual relationships, but creating the illusion of his popularity and social status. For Gatsby, the American Dream held no morals or values involving hard work paying off.

It was not the reward of achievement and success that drove him to rise in wealth, but the promise of what that wealth would mean. As society evolved and the wealthy gained privileges the poor could only dream of, the meaning of wealth evolved as well.

For many people in the s, achieving the American Dream meant more than hard work paying off. Instead, it possessed the power to unlock all the perks of the upper class. For Gatsby, it unlocked a once impossible love; for others, it unlocked the elaborate, materialistic consumerism that came with the wealth and status.

The lifestyle itself was the new reward of this achievement rather than the achievement itself being the reward. Rather than hard work and perseverance equating to success, the American Dream represented the idea that money leads to happiness in the s. The American Dream, and the reward of overcoming adversity and beating the system with hard work, had evolved.


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Follow/Fav The American Dream and The Great Gatsby By: Angel of the Shinigami A synthesis essay I wrote about The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and how it incorporates the idea of the American dream.

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Indeed, this topic is a default choice. However, there are other, more creative approaches to this task. For example, you can analyze the notion of the American dream through symbolism in The Great Gatsby essay, or through carelessness in The Great Gatsby essay, or .

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- The American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a brilliant illustration of life among the new rich during the s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of wealth but had no corresponding social connections. The Fall of the American Dream Josh Weiss The figurative as well as literal death of Jay Gatsby in the novel The Great Gatsby symbolizes a conclusion to the principal theme of the novel. With the end of the life of Jay Gatsby comes the end of what Fitzgerald views as .

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the spirited main character, Jay Gatsby is corrupted in his pursuit of the ‘American Dream’. The Great Gatsby is set to illustrate the roaring 20s, a period in which young men and women pursued a freer lifestyle. According to Lindberg (), the American dream as illustrated by Gatsby is more pessimistic regarding the female characters. Conclusion Fitzgerald illustrates how the American dream is characterized with materialism and how this affects the lives of the American people, making it .