Examples Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

The 1920s were years of economic prosperity and radical change both socially and politically. During the decade, the American Dream was sought-after by numerous people throughout America, which is reflected in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The novel is a highly symbolic meditation of America in the 1920s, focusing particularly on the disintegration of the American Dream in a time of unprecedented prosperity and material excess. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby, George and Myrtle Wilson, and Nick Carraway to illustrate that the American Dream is unnatainable, and striving for it only creates an disasterous ending.

George and Myrtle Wilson are two characters in The Great Gatsby representing the working class of society aiming for the American Dream. George Wilson owns a run-down auto shop in the Valley of Ashes and is doing his best to get business, while Myrtle Wilson chases after wealth and status through an affair with Tom. However, both characters face a tragic ending in their attempts to achieve the idealistic life: Daisy strikes and kills Myrtle with Gatsby’s car and George commits suicide after murdering Gatsby. George and Myrtle’s deadly fates help illustrate the novel’s pessimistic attitude toward the American Dream, symbolizing that it is impossible to achieve. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the Wilsons as a tragic way to demonstrate the unnatainable American Dream.

Alongside George and Myrtle Wilson is the narrator of the novel: Nick

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