The Reality Of The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

Decent Essays

The Reality of the American Dream
The 1920’s was a period of time where many people held the belief that they could diminish the power held by the established elite and provide social mobility for everyone. Prior to this time period, many Americans were more frugal, and it was harder for families to truly escape the cycle of poverty they had struggled with for so long. These new modern beliefs encouraged people to go against the traditional role society had given them. Prominent characters from the novel The Great Gatsby attempted to pursue this newfound American Dream held by society. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the belief that people could obtain social mobility conflicted with the reality that the traditional social hierarchy was only accessible for high class Americans. New progressive beliefs promoted the idea that hard work allowed one to seize available opportunities represented by character, Jay Gatsby, as someone who broke societal norms. An example of this belief can be seen in the novel through Jay Gatsby’s determination to become more than what society declared him to be, and due to “His parents [being] shiftless and unsuccessful farm people–his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents before...So he invented the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” (Fitzgerald 104-105). Gatsby’s persevering heart characterizes him as a believer in himself, to break the

Get Access
Get Access