Gatsby and the American Dream
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, is a novel for the ages. He cleverly depicted the image of the 1920’s in which he himself was a rich, young socialite, with vivid dreams. Jay Gatsby from the novel, is the embodiment of the rise and fall of the American Dream. He represents the vivaciousness of the youth and ability to make oneself into something, no matter one‘s origin.
The 1920’s also known as the “Jazz Age” was an era filled with hope for peace. After the end of World War I, many people had begun the question their past traditions and beliefs. The Great Gatsby portrays the “growing disillusionment with the conventional American Dream”(The American Dream 516); and uses Gatsby as an example. Gatsby is a self-created personage who works his way up the ladder of success by carefully choosing paths that land him in West Egg. Before meeting his second American Dream, Daisy
Buchanan, Gatbsy had the ideal American Dream of gaining wealth, knowledge, and power. Gatsby’s greatest strength was his “Platonic conception of himself”(Fitzgerald 98). His ability to never give up hope, and keep striving to achieve his goal. In his case, his dream was unrealistic. Daisy was a dream so delicately woven that once obtained in reality, was not as perfect for Gatsby as he had imagined. He eventually points out to Nick, that “her voice is full of money” (Fitzgerald 120), signifying his understanding that the woman he loves, his American Dream, is nothing but a fantasy that is too good to be true.
The death of Jay Gatsby represents the “withering of the American Dream”(Bloom par.1). Gatsby, the only character in the novel who gained wealth through means of hard work, dies in vain, trying to save his dream, Daisy, from being tarnished. His death, causes his dream to diminish, but allows his hope to live on. His dream of “a perfect love, of a fulfillment that transcends the absurdity...