The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

2312 Words10 Pages
The Great Gatsby illustrates the possible poor ways to achieve something so sought after such as being, in a general sense, successful. The American Dream in this sense is overwhelming, unobtainable to some and futile in some senses. The second decade of the 1900’s was a period of peak interest in pursuing the American Dream. “Fitzgerald, who named and chronicled that brash, schizophrenic decade, was now stranger to the dissipation of values and the pursuit of sensation in the Jazz Age of the 1920’s.” (Callahan P. 376). The essential evidence of one having achieved the “dream” was having the nuclear family, some sort of financial wealth, a large home and an automobile. It was widely understood that the financial aspect of this was the most important. This was a goal that drove the protestant work ethic of lower, middle and newly immigrated Americans. This dream also promoted the idea of delayed gratification found in a large capitalist country like in the United States. Protagonist, Jay Gatsby, does achieve the American Dream but the course changes his character and he ultimately encompasses what one would imagine a person with this ambition to be, truly unfulfilled. “Fitzgerald embodied in his tissues and nervous system the fluid polarities of American experience: success and failure, illusion and disillusion, dream and nightmare.” (Callahan P.374). The following passage captures the essence of new hope of coming to America where success was “abundant.” “I became aware
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