The Concept Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

1397 Words6 Pages
When the sounding of America occured, the definition of the American Dream was a possible way to better one’s circumstances; however, Fitzgerald shows through his novel The Great Gatsby that the definition and attainableness of the American Dream has changed: it became an unachievable dream that focused on making it big. Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby focused on the American Dream and mainly reflected how Fitzgerald himself felt about it. It showed how the 1920’s changed the dream and turned it into a fantasy rather than a reality. Fitzgerald’s opinion of the American Dream was that it was an unattainable dream that left behind the notion of hard work and embraced improving one’s life; however, there are parts of Fitzgerald’s work that support the concept of an obtainable dream and the importance of hard work. F. Scott Fitzgerald pushed the idea that the American Dream was an unattainable goal throughout his novel The Great Gatsby. He used characters and places to show the impossibleness of the so called dream that filled the people of the 1920’s. The character Myrtle was a prime example of the desire to have the American Dream and not reaching it. She desired to be a rich woman and tried to act as if she was one through her affair with Tom; however, she was never similar to a rich woman for her attempt to seem rich resulted in her acting as those with new money do and not dignified like old money. During the party at Myrtle and Tom’s apartment, Fitzgerald describes Myrtle as, “[h]er laughter, her gestures, her assertions became more violently affected moment by moment” (Fitzgerald 30-31). Her voice was shrill and unpleasant because Myrtle thought that rich women spoke in that way. The dream that Myrtle had was unreachable due to her upbringing and misconceptions of who she wished to be. Similar to Myrtle, Gatsby dreamed of being rich as well; although he craved more than richness, he wanted to be part of the old money society. While it is possible to consider Daisy as Gatsby’s dream, what truly attracted Gatsby was Daisy’s upbringing. Daisy was raised with old money, and Gatsby connected Daisy to the society that he wanted to become a part of. He deluded himself and thought that if he married Daisy,
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