The American Dream In The Great Gatsby Analysis

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Akelius Malancon K.Gaines English III 11-3-17 The Corrupted American Dream Within his acclaimed novel, The Great Gatsby, author F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the backdrop of the uninhibited, wealthy New York society of the Jazz Age to display his views using a cast of doomed characters. While it is a significant issue to the story, Fitzgerald does not directly address the concepts of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. In fact, you will not find the words "American Dream" in this novel. However, Fitzgerald subtly weaves into his telling of the tragic tale the severe consequences of the 1920's manipulation of the American Dream. Fitzgerald concludes his novel by killing or injuring all his characters who took short-cuts toward an American Dream dominated by materialism. From his writing, I believe that Fitzgerald embraces the old-fashioned or conventional American Dream that hard work and sacrifice yields success. To properly comment on Fitzgerald's feelings about the American Dream, we should define its meaning. Webster's Dictionary defines the American Dream as: "American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal." John Pidgeon's view of the American Dream is, "The Dream is founded upon the philosophical fundamentals on which our nation was built, summed up in Thomas Jefferson's expression that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights to liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, America was to be a place where men were politically free to pursue whatever goal they wished". (Pidgeon, 178-179) The Jazz Age, in which The Great Gatsby is set, was an era when the American economy boomed and materialism predominated. Stories of people who had won immense wealth were common in the media at that time. Undoubtedly, in the 1920's many Americans adopted a corrupted and materialistic version of the American Dream. Since Fitzgerald did not directly address the specific issue of the American Dream within The Great Gatsby, we must assume some aspects of Fitzgerald's feelings on the issue from his writing. Within The Great Gatsby, it appears as if Fitzgerald
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