Great Gatsby Essay: An Impossible American Dream English 5/6 Essay

931 words - 4 pages

Salma Zepeda
Mrs. Fong
English 5-6
4/21/16
The Great Gatsby: An Impossible American Dream
Every individual is struggling to improve themselves in hopes for a better future
however, chasing an ambiguous dream will always end in failure. The new opportunities that
1920’s America provided seemed to heighten this struggle. In the novel entitled ​The Great
Gatsby, ​F. Scott Fitzgerald tells the story of two past lovers during this era. Through the eyes of
Nick Carraway, the reader follows the story of Jay Gatsby as he lives his entire adult life trying
to reunite with the woman he loves, Daisy Buchanan, after losing her five years prior to the
book’s opening. What originally separated the couple was Gatsby’s economic status and the draft
of WWI . Daisy, who comes from old money, originally waited for Gatsby however, she
eventually marries an ex-polo player from old money, named Tom. By this time women’s roles
in the 1920’s made it difficult for a women to support herself, forcing them to depend on
marriage. Daisy married Tom only after she believed that her and Gatsby would never marry.
Throughout his character’s life, Gatsby goes from poverty to wealth, briefly reuniting with
Daisy, and eventually to death. The author uses the characters of Gatsby and Daisy to argue that
materialistic goals can be obtained but, any metaphysical goals, like emotions, are forever
unattainable.
Outwardly, Gatsby seemed to be a successful embodiment of the American Dream. He
was a wealthy self-made man who through a string of extravagant parties however, he never
participated or enjoyed them. Gatsby believed that the only way to make his life a true success,
was to marry Daisy. A clear example of this is when Nick describes people’s perception of
him,”The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his
corruption-and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved
them goodbye.”(154). This quote illustrates how people assumed that him and his wealth was
corrupt and, fully accepted them in order to participate in his luxurious parties. It would appear
that Gatsby did earn his money through corrupt businesses but, he did this to be at the same
economic status as Daisy and therefore, getting him closer to her. Nick further elaborates on
Gatsby stating, “I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn’t believe it would come, and perhaps he
no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a
high price for living too long with a single dream.”(160). This reveals that Gatsby’s chase for
Daisy left him exhausted and was the reason for his death. From this the reader can infer that, his
death was caused by his constant pursuit of the American Dream, which he believed was non
existent without...

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