Futility of the American Dream Exposed in The Great Gatsby Essay

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"The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it's possible to achieve the American dream."
-- Tommy Hilfiger

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, the principle character, Jay Gatsby makes an exhaustive effort in his quest for the American Dream. The novel is Fitzgerald's vessel of commentary and criticism of the American Dream. “Fitzgerald defines this Dream, he depicts its’ beauty and irresistible lure”(Bewley 113). Through Gatsby's downfall, Fitzgerald expresses the futility and agony of the pursuit of the dream.

The aspects of the American Dream are evident throughout Fitzgerald's narrative. Take, for example, James Gatz's heavenly, almost unbelievable rise
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Consequently, I am not ugly, for the effect of my ugliness, its power to repel, is annulled by money... does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their opposites? (Possnock 204).

Gatsby's incapacities, generally of an emotional nature, inhibitions preventing his successful capture of his long-lost love, Daisy, are washed away with the drunkenness provided by the dollar:

However glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was a present a penniless young man without a past, and at any moment the invisible cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders... He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously - eventually he took Daisy one still October night (Fitzgerald 141).

Once armed with the lucre, however, he is prepared to contribute equally to the relationship, making it truly an equal relation of love.

Love represents the other side of the coin of wealth: as opposed to material wealth, it refers instead to emotional wealth. Whatever its plane of existence, love plays a pivotal role in the American Dream, in Gatsby's Dream. Perhaps love is the most valuable of the aspects presented thus far of the Dream; "He hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes" (Fitzgerald 88). Such is his