The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

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Democracy, freedom and equal opportunity have long been the ideologies associated with the American mindset, and as a result, the United States came to be recognized as one of the few countries in the world where anyone who worked hard enough could become successful and therefore fulfill the American Dream. However, through The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald confronts this sanguine mentality. That which defines success in the 1920s, the time during which Fitzgerald’s novel is set, is no longer the “pursuit of happiness” that the Founding Fathers had established in the Declaration of Independence, but instead, the acquisition of a maximized amount of wealth and material possessions. Yet, such monetary success does not imply satisfaction, nor does satisfaction imply monetary success, and through The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald criticizes and contradicts this distorted image of the American Dream. Jay Gatsby’s aspires not only to become fabulously wealthy, but also to reunite himself with Daisy. This woman, for whom Gatsby so desperately longs, loves not for love itself, but for monetary security: to take an example, Daisy behaves notably emotionally upon seeing a collection of shirts Gatsby owns during a visit to Gatsby’s mansion, “‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before’” (92). Gatsby knows he can only win back the affection of Daisy by proving…

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