Extravagance In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays
The 1920s was a time of wealth and extravagance. The American Dream went for valuing hard work to valuing wealth. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby and the green light demonstrate how the altered American Dream of wealth and prosperity led to the demise of many.
Jay Gatsby is the epitome of the American Dream of the 1920s. He lives in a mansion and throws extravagant parties every week. Nick says,
The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, Sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. . . So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. (Fitzgerald, 98)
As a child and young adult, Gatsby is poor and longs for financial success because of Dan Cody. Because Gatsby thinks Dan’s life of extravagance is the American Dream, he reinvents himself into a new person that is the embodiment of the American Dream. He changes his name from Jay Gatz, to Jay Gatsby to symbolize his rebirth. Then he attains money from selling illegal alcohol and other ways. After he becomes wealthy, he forgets about his past and never brings it forward to anyone, but Nick. He does this because he does not want Daisy to know about his background of poverty, since she is from a life of luxury and class. Gatsby knows he has to be wealthy to be with Daisy, and goes great lengths to do so.
His persistence to be with Daisy and attain the American Dream is shown through the
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