The Fall Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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In the American novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald describes the American Dream through the main characters’ relationships, and the complex settings in which the novel takes place. The novel teaches the reader of the corruptness of the American Dream by using the locations of East Egg and West Egg to highlight the difference between old and new money. The reader sees this along with the Valley of Ashes, the place in between the Eggs and New York City, which shows the true nature of fallen dreams and sadness that comes from an American’s desperation for wealth. Fitzgerald shows an American’s longing for wealth through the protagonist, Jay Gatsby from West Egg, and his longing for Daisy Buchanan, from East Egg. Through these main characters …show more content…
Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is said to be “the finest struggle of the American Dream ever put down on paper” (Daisley). Fitzgerald’s masterpiece displays the idea of “self-invention” through the character of Jay Gatsby, who is an archetype of the myth of the American Dream (Baker). Gatsby is described as a man of hope, who Nick describes as having “an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again” (Fitzgerald 2). In the novel, Jay Gatsby lives out the struggle of the American Dream, by first acquiring his fortune on his own and living out a luxurious life with his personal riches. But, he eventually desires too much and is never satisfied, which leads to his downfall. Gatsby’s downfall happens when Wilson seeks revenge on Gatsby for supposedly killing his wife, Myrtle. Wilson sneaks into Gatsby’s backyard and murders Gatsby, as well as himself. This downfall in the novel demonstrates the corruption of the American Dream. The American Dream is defined as “rising from rags to riches, of amassing a great fortune that will assure a life of luxuriant ease, power, and beauty, in an ideal world untroubled by care and devoted to the enjoyment of everlasting pleasure and nothing to intervene between wish and fulfillment” (Roberts). Because Americans did not recognize this corruption, this is the idea that filled the Roaring Twenties. The culture assimilated during this time was one of “runaway commercialism” where dissatisfaction is almost encouraged and “personal content is almost un-American" (Baker). This way of life taught Americans to “dream big, but entangled in illusions, do not dream wisely" (Baker). The way these dreams can affect an American man is what Fitzgerald portrayed in his novel through the character

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