Unttainable American Dream In The Great Gatsby Essay

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Daisy as the Unattainable American Dream The American Dream is what most people would associate with the epitomes of liberty, equality, reward for hard work, and money – lots of it. The question is, does it really exist or is it just a mythos which attracts people to believe that the United States is a land of opportunity and immense wealth? In his The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald answers this question by portraying the American Dream as it relates to wealth and how the characters strive to be a part of it. Not only does he manage to define and explain the American Dream, but also praises and eventually condemns the idea of it mainly through the misfortunate character of Jay Gatsby, after whom the book is named. Jay Gatsby pursues the …show more content…
He uses irony to convey this argument. For example, the people from West Egg and East Egg have supposedly all attained the American Dream. They are respected people who should be idols. This in of itself is ex,emely ironic because the wealthy people are just as broken and unfortunate as the poor people. The “Eggs” are unhappy, their marriages are usually fake; several are law breakers (like Gatsby), and many are cheating their way to a fortune. They are no better off than the poor. Their wealth is just a shield to protect their hidden weaknesses. Gatsby uses this shield to hide his illegal methods of attaining wealth and prove to her than he is a member of the elite class. He hosts parties and changes his name just to be accepted into the elite class. In his parties, “people were not invited – they went there” (Fitzgerald 41). People also gossiped about his strange wealth and suspected that he was a “German spy during the war” and had even “killed a man” (Fitzgerald 44). His efforts went to waste as the elitists simply used him for enjoying parties and mocking him by gossiping for their own delight. This clearly shows how the elitists do not allow Gatsby to join their social …show more content…
This is presented through Daisy’s personification of the American dream, her choice of Tom over Gatsby, and Myrtle’s death. Fitzgerald draws from his own misfortunes to show that the promise of the American Dream is false. He died “believing himself a failure… and he seemed destined for literary obscurity” (Brucolli). Fitzgerald felt as if he failed in literature therefore he had a negative view for the American Dream, which he wasn’t able to fulfill. He used this pessimism of the American Dream as a backdrop for The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald provides a negative view to the American Dream which matches how it is in the real world: the upper class stays in the upper class and the lower class stays in the lower class no matter how much wealth may be obtained. Class is not only determined by wealth but by manners, intelligence and hard work. His conclusion about this determination of the social class and the unattainable American Dream is unsettling yet

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