Great Dream

May 9, 2017
By , Chicago, IL

In the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Nick Carraway narrates a story about a man named Gatsby who has done everything all the name of Daisy. Daisy is a married women who used to date Gatsby but couldn’t wait any longer for Gatsby to become rich. Fitzgerald's idea of the american dream is something that appears real even though it may not be possible just to keep everyone wanting to succeed more and more in life. Fitzgerald uses the characters in this book to portray his version of the american dream for example Daisy will latch onto almost any wealthy man all to achieve what some would call the american dream. This book hints here and there what the american dream is and from what I’ve read the book explains that the american dream is whatever that drives us to keep moving forward and succeed, whether it is wealth, beauty or, pretty much anything we want. If anything the american dream is not good, it can lead people to do bad things but yet there is some good to come of it.


Fitzgerald depicts the american dream as what drives everyone to succeed in life and is in every character in the book except for Nick Carraway. Fitzgerald’s meaning of the american way is “a mirage that entices us to keep moving forward even as we are ceaselessly borne back into the past” (Fitzgerald 189). Fitzgerald means something that appears real even though it may not be when he calls the american dream a mirage. He also explains that the american dream drives us to do anything just to end up who you were before. What Fitzgerald said makes a lot of connections to his book. You can tell that all the character in the book only care about wealth and beauty and in the end of the book almost everyone of those characters were the same as they were at the beginning.  For gatsby the dream was daisy, for daisy the dream was wealth, and all of them chased after the american dream to be where they were at in the book.


In this book Fitzgerald uses many characters as puppets to show what effect the american dream has on people. One of the characters he used as an example was Myrtle and how her “desire for a luxurious life is what lures Myrtle into having an affair with Tom. This decision harms her marriage with George, which leads to her death and loss of true happiness”(Humphreys). Myrtle was tempted by the idea of the american dream to cheat on her husband George with Tom. by taking this risk to finally be able to live wealthy and have whatever she wants, it leads her to death. Fitzgerald used Myrtle and other characters to basically say the american dream is not for everyone and that taking short cuts will not lead to happiness. Myrtle was a puppet to show how the american dream can drive people to do crazy things for something that isn’t necessary for true happiness.


The Great Gatsby defines the american dream as something that drives someone to succeed. At the end of the book when Nick meets Gatsby’s dad, he learns that Gatsby has always been driven to become someone great. Mr. Gatz tells Nick “he come out to see me two years ago and bought me the house I live in now. Of course we was broke up when he ran off from home, but i see now there was a reason for it. He knew he had a big future in front of him. And ever since he made a success he was very generous with me”(Fitzgerald 172). Mr. Gatz also showed Nick schedule Gatsby had made when he was younger; it was a list of things that would help Gatsby succeed in life. For example at six fifteen A.M. he would exercise and at five P.M. he would practice elocution, poise and how to attain it, he even studied needed inventions at eight P.M. Gatsby has been Practicing his whole on how to act wealthy, and how to be smart. He even kept himself in shape so he could fit in. Gatsby was astonished with how wealthy people lived and would do anything to be wealthy. He took short cuts to become wealthy, he bootlegged alcohol and lied to people that trusted him which later lead to his death due to a chain of events. The american dream can be defined through all of this by looking at what Gatsby had been chasing his whole life. Gatsby was driven by the american dream, he saw money, and stature and, most importantly Daisy. So if the book itself were to define the american dream it would be; wealth, luxury, beauty, stature, anything that will drive people to succeed in life.


In my opinion the american dream isn’t something I would call good. I believe there are good things about it and that can come of it but “the dream itself is ambiguous, contradictory, romantic in nature, and undeniably beautiful while at the same time grotesquely flawed”(messa 189). As Messa said the american dream is flawed, yet it is undeniably beautiful. In other words the american dream does not always work out the way one would expect but there are good things about it and society can benefit from it. The reason I believe the american dream isn’t a dream like everyone calls it is because many people have done selfless actions to chase after it. The american dream can cause people to work harder and make society a better place but that is not the case for everyone. Some people try to avoid working hard by taking short cuts to get to the top and that causes things to tumble down back to the bottom.


Even though the american dream may not be completely good, it is a necessity for this world. Without it no one would be impelled to strive for anything. The great Gatsby does more define Fitzgerald’s idea of the american dream, it demonstrates what causes it and why. The book shows how the american dream drives all these characters so that they can feel good about themselves being on top of everyone else, causing them to be very selfless. The characters were very well structured to demonstrate the cycle of the american dream. Fitzgerald paints a very good image of the american dream with the book and how it can end up causing destruction. In conclusion I would not say the american dream is worth giving praise but, that does not mean I think it is insignificant. I believe it is somewhere in the middle. The american dream may have its ups and downs but, it is necessity to have in our society.






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