In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main theme is most directly related to the American Dream. The American Dream is based on the idea that any person, no matter who they are, can become successful in life by working hard. The Great Gatsby is about what happened to the American Dream during the 1920's, an era when the dream had been corrupted by the relentless pursuit of wealth. The pursuit of the American Dream is the ultimate cause of the downfall of the main character, Jay Gatsby. Throughout the story, Jay Gatsby avoids telling the truth of his hard, ordinary childhood.
Americans grew an unrestrainable desire for pleasure and wealth. This unrestrainable desire unfortunately surpassed noble goals. Once looking beyond the glitz and glamour a hidden reality is acknowledged. A man will seek for what he yearns. Jay Gatsby comes from an underprivileged family but is able to rise to the top of wealth—something every American in the 1910-1920’s was trying to do.
Two respected works of modern American literature, The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, give us insight into how the individual interpretation and pursuit of the "American Dream" can produce tragic results. Jay Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, built his "American Dream" upon the belief that wealth would win him acceptance. In pursuit of his dream, Gatsby spent his life trying to gain wealth and the refinement he assumes it entails. Jay Gatsby, lacking true refinement, reflects the adolescent image of the wealthy, and "[springs] from his Platonic conception of himself" (Fitzgerald 104). Gatsby is a watered down version of a member of the true social elite.
Gatsby is a hopeful man. No matter what happens he holds on to the hope of what could be, of what he always dreamed could be, of his “American Dream.” A dream in which he has ac... ... middle of paper ... ...hed everything he had ever dreamt of, only to die tragically in the end, with no one by his side. Good things only last so long, The Great Gatsby showed the darker side of the 1920’s, which was hidden behind false identity, and fake smiles. The corruption, the affairs, the abuse that most got away with, just so long as they could pay off their dues with their riches. The poignant, yet hopeful tone is about life and how it almost always ends in heartbreak or death.
As his self-earned luxury and riches clashed with love, crippling consequences and disasters occur. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby delves into an era of materialism, exploring how capitalism can become the face of social life and ultimately cloud the American Dream. The philosophy of the American Dream has been with Americans for centurie; James Truslow Adams says that, regardless of social class, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” (Adams). Although this vision has never fully encompassed the entirety of America, it has been generally a positive ambition that all Americans should look past their circumstances and rely on only themselves to succeed at life. However, American capitalism and Marxist ideas have contradicted the traditional dream.
The Great Gatsby. 2004th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925. 1- 180 . Print.