The American Dream in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1143 Words 5 Pages
The early 1920’s were a time when the economy began to soar, and the notion of the American dream began to take effect. The American Dream is the idea that anyone can come from any background and no matter who they are, if they work hard and stay true to themselves, they can achieve their dreams. The Great Gatsby, set in the early twenties, displays that socio-economic power is obtained through inheritance, forming an aristocracy of power and wealth. The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, demonstrates how geography and location dictate where the social-class level of an individual exists permanently in society. Furthermore, illusion and affectation portrayed in the novel to conceive the image of power and wealth in a way for …show more content…
it was full of money – that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it... high in a white palace the kings daughter, the golden girl...” (Fitzgerald 115). Daisy is of a much higher class than Gatsby, solely through birthright. Nick calls Daisy “the King’s daughter”(Fitzgerald 115), portraying that she is born into power and socio-economic class – like a princess would be because of her father, the king. Inheritance is one of the uncontrolled ways to obtain socio-economic power. In short, socio economic power is something that cannot be controlled because people either are born into it or not -- therefore falsifying the American Dream.
Geography dictates where social-class and values are determined. Nick narrates about Gatsby: “he did not know it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night” (Fitzgerald 171). Fitzgerald makes clear that Gatsby’s pursuit of the American dream was over before it began. Fitzgerald points out the geography: “ behind the city” (Fitzgerald 171), noting that Gatsby is not from the city and “back” (Fitzgerald 171) is referring to his past, or back home in the country where “the dark fields of the republic rolled on through the night”(Fitzgerald 171). Since Gatsby is from a rural background, he has a different social-class and has different moral values. This…