F. Scott Fitzgerald 's ' The Great Gatsby '

Decent Essays

The American dream is a tacit promise given to all citizens in this country, which states that regardless of social class, any individual can aspire to new heights based upon the ideology of meritocracy. The American dream is a “recurring theme in American literature”(Pearson) and in American society. However, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s critically acclaimed novel, presents the American dream as an illusion which can never be achieved, and according to recent events in America, Fitzgerald is evidently correct. The personification of Daisy as the American Dream, the issue of meritocracy, Myrtle’s death, the image of the green light, as well as the manner in which Gatsby is denied entry into the
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This excitement and distraction, which is what Daisy provokes on Gatsby, is the naiveté caused by the illusion of attaining Daisy, and thus fulfilling the American Dream. Daisy is evidently personified as the American Dream throughout The Great Gatsby.

The issue of meritocracy is also prevalent in this novel. When Daisy confesses to Gatsby that she can’t say that she “never loved Tom”(133), it unveils how meritocracy isn’t existent at all in this novel. Gatsby plans for such a long period of time by buying a house in West Egg, arranging their nostalgic meeting, and reinventing himself from James Gatz into the idea of Jay Gatsby, which is a concept he is “faithful until the end”(98), but Gatsby nonetheless subjects to failure in his attempt to claim Daisy once again. It is economically impossible for all of us to achieve the American Dream, which is what Fitzgerald, is saying when Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby. Tom and Gatsby can’t both have Daisy; only one of them can claim Daisy and truly achieve the American Dream.

Thirdly, Myrtle’s death symbolizes how the upper class hinders the rising middle class from achieving the American dream. Myrtle Wilson is one of Tom Buchanan’s mistresses, a non-elitist woman aspiring to become more than simply
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