American Dream Great Gatsby

1063 Words 5 Pages
The American Dream has been diluted and misconstrued by those who only see the outside into a greedy desire to live frivolously and materialistically. However, Adams saw and defined the American Dream as a wish for equal opportunity, where a person 's success isn 't based on people 's background or their material possessions, but based on their individual capabilities which allowed them to reach their aspirations. In fact, his definition even states, “It is not a dream of motorcars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable..." The life that was lived by F. Scott Fitzgerald 's infamous character Jay Gatsby corresponds …show more content…
He has achieved his dream of financial and social success because he had the drive and the ideas or the "innate capabilities". This is one example of how he represented the American dream according to the James Truslow Adams definition. Gatsby basically made an entire new persona for himself, a new life even a new name. Originally James Gatz, a nobody, he had a plan unfettered by a social hierarchy much like the American Dream suggests. Gatsby was committed to his dreams allowing his dreams to grow, which can be seen in how he adhered to his plan. For example, things like "read one improving book or magazine a week". He also nurtured and amended his dream sticking to it even after his goals were pushed back because of the war. He was so committed to his dream that subconsciously, even his love was dictated by his need to achieve. He loved Daisy from the moment he met her because of her youth and beauty but also because of her wealth, popularity and overall social status. The one thing he idolized and loved was almost directly related to his dream because Daisy represented everything he stood to achieve. He was so committed to his dream, in fact that he lied and omitted truths to protect it and thus to protect his new self, Jay Gatsby. He lied to protect what he worked for, (evidence of him living the America Dream) his financial and social success which can be found in every aspect …show more content…
However, the way Gatsby essentially became a new person all together—or tried to at least shows something. In the novel Fitzgerald splits society in half, between the old money East Egg and the new money West Egg. Gatsby 's residency in West Egg, the more garish and ostentatious of the two suggests that no matter how far you go to pursue your dreams, no matter how convoluted the tales you spin become, your past is always a part of you. So what is the point of lying to become a new person? Is the American Dream just one big means to a successful end? Gatsby couldn 't assimilate fully into the life of old money wealth. Although he was accepted by most because of the fabulously luxurious parties he threw there was still always a barrier between him and those around him. He was shrouded in the mysteries that he had spun for himself in order to conceal the truth. And without truth you cannot truly know someone. His lies and the stories that those around him speculated upon kept those around him perpetually at arm’s length as he so desired but conversely, also kept him at arm’s length from others— even Daisy the woman he loved. He changed to fit the lies, and tailored the lies to fit the new him but in the end no matter how he schemed and planned and pined Daisy was never his—and Daisy was he true dream. This is an exemplary representation of what Fitzgerald was trying to convey about the American

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