The Difference Between The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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There is a vast difference between the American Dream and the reality of living in the U.S.; in which having money does not always lead to happiness. In F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby the American Dream is seen as an ambition for many and nothing to others. It seems that during the 1920s anybody and everybody wanted to achieve the American Dream. Americans felt that having money was the only way to be happy. For George Wilson and Jay Gatsby, that was the ultimate goal; to be rich, bringing happiness. On the other hand, for Tom and Daisy Buchanan, the dream of wealth and status was already achieved. Throughout the novel, the theme of the American Dream is represented by Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby, and George Wilson. Fitzgerald illustrates the differences in how each character succeeds or fails to achieve the American Dream.

Tom Buchanan personifies the American Dream; he does this by being born into a wealthy family. This is shown early in the story when Nick is talking about the wealth of the Buchanan’s saying, “His Family were enormously wealthy-even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach.” (10) The Buchanans live in east egg where the houses are very large. The Buchanan’s are often playing polo and doing nothing. Also, the wealth of the Buchanan’s is shown when Daisy questions what
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In Gatsby’s case, his attempt to achieve the American Dream ultimately results in serious and very deadly consequences for himself. As for George Wilson, he too fails to achieve the American Dream as his success is restricted living in the Valley of Ashes. As for the Buchanan’s, the dream is vanished because of the wealth they have achieved through Tom’s inheritance. It seems that having money was the ultimate goal for the characters in the novel, but for those had achieved it already did not equal eternal happiness for

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