The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The promise of riches and success that comes on the back of hard work: the American Dream. Did it wither away? Was it lost in a sea of greed and mendacity, the roots of its vision forgotten amidst material success? Furthermore, if the American Dream is stripped away of its tangible aspects, acquired solely upon wealth; one is simply left with an idealistic concept that is unattainable. Such are the big questions posed to the reader in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Published in 1925, the novel tells the story of a cast of socialites in there 20s and early 30s in the fictional town of West Egg, Long Island. Narrated by a character named Nick Carraway, who provides insightful descriptions of the men and women he finds…show more content…
To begin, we must address the concern that immediately arises: it cannot be denied that Jay Gatsby is incredibly wealthy. The whole premise of the book lies with the fact that he is truly an incredibly rich man. If wealth accounts to the American Dream, then how can it be argued that his Dream was false, and merely a dangerous fantasy? The answer is simple: the American Dream lies with happiness. Happiness is the main driving force within the goal of being financially successful; the implication here is that happiness can be derived from the lifestyle and stability afforded when one is wealthy. That is certainly true, and the scores of immigrants and poor Americans who are so inspired by the Dream work towards wealth, because riches will lift them out of their current situation – poverty, which is a bad state to be in. Yet ultimately the wealth and the possessions that come with it are only physical manifestations of happiness. This is where Gatsby finds himself separated from the Dream, proving our thesis that he never achieved it. His happiness can only lie with the emotional satisfaction of being romantically involved with Daisy, which he ultimately does not achieve to its fullest. So, despite achieving opulent material success, in terms of overall happiness that would signify him fulfilling the American Dream, Gatsby would continue to come up empty. This is illustrated in the metaphor of him becoming transfixed at night gazing
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