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Gatsby's American Dream Essay

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A commonly held tenet among people from all generations is that hard work will ultimately lead to wealth and prosperity. This concept, illustrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is known as the American Dream. Although many have this dream today, it is a one in a million chance to attain it, regardless of whether or not a person is tremendously deserving of such success. James Gatz, later known as Jay Gatsby, is a character who experiences this minute probability of the American Dream coming true. Through the character of Gatsby, Fitzgerald suggests that the American Dream is so difficult to achieve that it is unattainable.
Gatsby hosts extravagant parties that imply that succeeding in the American Dream is most supported by obtaining power and respect that is gained from old money. Tom Buchanan is a perfect example of the type of person that Gatsby longs to be in terms of power and respect. Tom’s “speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked — and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts” (7). Although there are some men that hate Tom due to his asperity, they still see that Tom has power derived from his wealth and, therefore, have to respect him because of it. Furthermore, since he uses the same voice for the people he likes and dislikes, one can observe his powerful and respected presence is not limited to certain people. Gatsby, however, has not earned such power and respect. When Tom, Mr. Sloane, and the woman they are with visit Gatsby’s house, Gatsby understands that they, along with Tom, have the power and respect for which he yearns. Because of their power in society, Gatsb...


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...ould lead to wealth and prosperity, is one that many people strive for, and is one that seemingly should come true for deserving individuals. In today’s economy, however, the concept of the American Dream is even more significant in the lives of American adults. Since the most recent recession began, a greater number of adults, though not necessarily employed at the moment, still have faith in the American Dream coming true. The relationship that presents itself in discussing the American Dream is that for however bad conditions become, there is an even bigger increase in faith in the idea of the American Dream.



Works Cited

Seelye, Katharine Q. "In a Sour Economy, What Happens to the American Dream? - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 07 May 2009. Web. 03 Nov. 2011. .


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