The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

1442 Words6 Pages
In the United States' Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers "…held certain truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." This sentiment can be considered the foundation of the American Dream, the dream that everyone has the ability to become what he or she desires to be. While many people work to attain their American dream, others believe that the dream is seemingly impossible to reach, like F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby examines the "Jazz-Age" generation's search for the elusive American Dream of wealth and happiness and scrutinizes the consequences of that…show more content…
They show no remorse for destruction of Gatsby's property and they take advantage of his optimistic view of human nature. Pressured by the image of an "ideal" American, Gatsby looks the other way when his guests take advantage of him. His own individual happiness is not important in a society of individuals (Bloom 17).
Another aspect of Fitzgerald's criticism of the American dream is Gatsby's desire to gain the love of Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby's object of affection and his "holy grail" (Fitzgerald 160). Daisy on the outside is beautiful, pure, and seemingly perfect. Nick Carraway describes her as wearing white clothes and driving a white car. Her name itself is a white flower. But in actuality, she is as false and shallow as the rest of the society (Lathbury 20). The narrator Nick comments about the foul nature of Daisy and Tom Buchanan who were Americans living in the superficial world of the 1920's:
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made (Fitzgerald 18).
Essentially, Daisy is a person who hides in her money and has affection for someone solely based upon their outer image and wealth, aspects important to the dreams of Gatsby and Daisy. In the scene where Daisy observes the movie star and the director at one
Get Access