The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

Length: 1296 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

On April 10, 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, a novel that would later become one of the best known pieces of classic literature in history. However, at the time of its publication, Gatsby was fairly unpopular ad the reviews were never consistent. As shocking as it may seem, I believe it is because Fitzgerald’s intelligence and creativity levels were way ahead of his time, which is evident when one pays close attention to the themes of the novel. Forgiveness, love, and memory of the past are just a few themes you will come across in this story. Aside from these, there is one other theme that is much more dominant and could possibly have been the cause of The Great Gatsby’s slight lack of initial success. It is the basis of everything the characters in the novel do as well as everything they feel. It is what they use to justify their actions, and it is what everyone longs for. This theme is better known as the American dream.The Great Gatsby is representative of the American dream in multiple ways. There are some aspects of the novel that symbolize the overall corruption of the American dream; there are others that signify the love of wealth, and the division of rich and poor.
What exactly is the American dream? The American dream can be described as an idea, a concept, and a way of life. It can even be described as a form of ignorance. According to SinišaSmiljanić, some people say it is the search for wealth, prosperity and a higher social status. Others feel it is basically having a good life- settling down and being able to provide for their family. All of these ideas can be accredited to the fundamental idea of the American dream. Robert L. Pearson sums up the American dream as the bel...


... middle of paper ...


....
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
Great Gatsby and the Fall of the American Dream, The. .
“Great Gatsby American Dream Essay”. 2013. May 2013. .
Pearson, Robert L. “Gatsby: False Prophet of the American Dream”. The English Journal Vol. 59, No. 5. May 1970: 638-645
Saveriano, Jerry W. World’s Fairs- Back To the Future. 2014. December 2010. .
Smiljanić, Siniša. The American Dream in the Great Gatsby. 2013. April 2011. .
SparkNotes Editors. Sparknote on The Great Gatsby. 2002. 13 Jan 2014 .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- On April 10, 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, a novel that would later become one of the best known pieces of classic literature in history. However, at the time of its publication, Gatsby was fairly unpopular ad the reviews were never consistent. As shocking as it may seem, I believe it is because Fitzgerald’s intelligence and creativity levels were way ahead of his time, which is evident when one pays close attention to the themes of the novel. Forgiveness, love, and memory of the past are just a few themes you will come across in this story....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Strong Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

The Corruption of the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Essay

- Francis Scott Fitzgerald portrays the American Dream, originally a set of goals that included freedom, settlement, and an honest life with the possibility of upward social and economic mobility earned through hard work, as corrupted and debased by the egotistic materialism of the 1920s, an era which Fitzgerald characterizes chiefly by its greed and lavish hedonism, in his celebrated novel The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald, in The Great Gatsby, seeks to discredit the supposed purity of the American Dream and belief that anyone can attain it through hard work....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Strong Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)

The Ambition and Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the characters, particularly Jay Gatsby strive to achieve the American Dream. During the 1920‘s, the American Dream was to have success. This success includes areas of wealth, love, and having material possessions, such as superb clothes, a vast house, and a car. Gatsby’s only reason to achieve the American Dream is so that he can win over the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby symbolizes both the ambition and corruption of the American Dream in the 1920‘s....   [tags: wealth, tom buchannan, daisy]

Strong Essays
701 words (2 pages)

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the corruption of the American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to attain its illusionary goals. As the novel shows, the 20th century is a moral wasteland and a corruption of the original idealistic American Dream of the past. Fitzgerald's moral wasteland is shown physically in the "valley of ashes" scene of the novel. This 'dismal' and 'desolate' wasteland exists side-by-side with the white and unreal dream of Daisy and her world....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Strong Essays
513 words (1.5 pages)

Corruption of the American Dream in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- Broken Dreams and Fallen Themes In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald employs the use of characters, themes, and symbolism to convey the idea of the American Dream and its corruption through the aspects of wealth, family, and status. In regards to wealth and success, Fitzgerald makes clear the growing corruption of the American Dream by using Gatsby himself as a symbol for the corrupted dream throughout the text. In addition, when portraying the family the characters in Great Gatsby are used to expose the corruption growing in the family system present in the novel....   [tags: The Great Gatsby ]

Strong Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

- The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1925. In Scott F. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, men fight over a woman. To stay financially secure, they go into illegal business. Dreams are crushed and lives are lost. It is a story that relates to the corruption of the American Dream. The story takes place in an area near New York called "Long Island." It is in a shape of an egg. They focus in on places on there named "East Egg", "West Egg", and "The Valley of Ashes." West egg is for people who have recently made their fortunes....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Free Essays
1539 words (4.4 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Corruption of the American Dream

- Jay Gatsby is a man with a dream and will stop at nothing to attain it.  When he loses the love of his life to a wealthy, sophisticated and bigoted socialite, his mind is set.  Born a poor farm boy, he centers his life around achieving extraordinarily vast amounts of wealth and great social status.  The poor man never gets the girl; in fact, he never gets anything in Gatsby's eyes.  Gatsby is determined not only to be rich, but become the richest man who ever lived.  When he does become the richest man who ever lived, he wants to become the ultimate ruler of the universe.  Gatsby wants to be God.  Nick Carraway, his laid-back and observant neighbor, despises Gatsby's flamboyant and exaggerat...   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Strong Essays
1477 words (4.2 pages)

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

- The American Dream is portrayed by a dreamer who pursues to progress form scratch to riches, while gaining love, social status, wealth and power. Those in power, typically involving bribery, portray corruption as dishonest or fraudulent conduct. This applies to the western world where corruption is contributing to the downfall of society. Corruption in society is what leads us to think of the nation in a pessimistic way. In the novel, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s vision of America is negative and his depiction is that when man is concerned with only his success, the result is corruption....   [tags: tom, daisy, nick]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- ... However, Gatsby’s vigil was over nothing. Daisy was never in her room that night, much like Gatsby’s dream is over a nonexistent person. The Daisy he met and fell in love with years ago is not the same person anymore, and as much as Gatsby thinks that he can repeat the past, in the real world it is proven to be impossible. His faith is misplaced, because the object of his quest is nothing more than Daisy. Then, Fitzgerald uses symbolism to show how the American dream died out. The sense of hopelessness at the end of the novel proves that the purity of the American dream is dead with Gatsby's death and George Wilson's suicide....   [tags: imagery, symbolism, characterization]

Strong Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

Corruption Of The American Dream Essay

- Taj Dimbo Mrs.Lepre American Literature P.1 12/15/2015 Corruption of the American Dream In The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald the American dream becomes corrupted by the pursuit of money. The American Dream is basically a dream to accomplish your goals but too much money and power can corrupt this dream. Gatsby was motivated to acquire his dream. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way… and distinguished nothing except a single green light”(20). This quote shows how Gatsby was striving for his goal and trying to accomplish it no matter what the obstacles were....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Corruption]

Strong Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)