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Great Gatsby: Analysis of the American Dream

Uploaded by rchenery on Nov 06, 2000

The Great Gatsby is a novel that illustrates the society in the 1920's and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of the American population at that time. These beliefs, values and dreams can be summed up be what is termed the "American Dream"; a dream of money, wealth, prosperity and the happiness that supposedly came with the booming economy and get-rich-quick schemes that formed the essential underworld of American upper-class society. This underworld infiltrated the upper echelons and created such a moral decay within general society that paved the way for the ruining of dreams and dashing of hopes as they were placed confidently in the chance for opportunities that could be seized by one and all. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the American Dream and the "foul dust" or the carelessness of a society that floats in the wake of this dream. By looking at each character and their situation and ambition it can be seen that the American Dream was not limited to one social class or type of person, that it was nation wide and was found within everyone.

From the position as narrator the reader has access to the thoughts and feelings of Nick Carraway more than any other characters; but this same position also reduces the effectiveness of the reader as a judge of character because he is presented in a biased way compared to others. With that said, it can be seen that Nick suffers greatly from his experiences in New York. His regard for human decency is ruined and he leaves with his hopes dashed and a disgust at how the materialism that runs rampant throughout his social class is capable of ruining lives and dreams. Nick, as with all characters is a believer in the American Dream because even he moves East to work in the bond business - then a booming industry. Because of the actions of his cousin Daisy, her husband Tom and the beliefs held by his love interest in the novel Jordan, Nick is finally privy to how the dreams and values held by all these people overrun their sense of sensible behavior and how the general society caused their personalities to be affected this way.

The transformation between James Gatz and Jay Gatsby is an example of how people can transform themselves according to their ambition for wealth and prosperity. The use of illegal activities to gain Gatsby's wealth...

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Uploaded by:   rchenery

Date:   11/06/2000

Category:   The Great Gatsby

Length:   8 pages (1,732 words)

Views:   2653

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