Losing the Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Novel The Great Gatsby

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In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, George Wilson, and Tom Buchanan strive for contentment by achieving their American Dreams. For Gatsby, the American Dream consists of a higher social status, so he can pursue happiness in a relationship with Daisy Buchanan. He reveals his determination for this high status by rising from the poor lower class and living in wealthy West Egg; however, his inability to achieve his American Dream illustrates the impracticality of the dream. Furthermore, Wilson’s self-owned car repairs business portrays his hard work. The love he retains for his wife Myrtle Wilson influences his dream of making her pleased with money and moving out West. Similar to Gatsby, he fails at achieving his dream despite his great efforts; thus, his failure represents the impossibility of achieving the American Dream. Moreover, Tom Buchanan has wealth and status living in East Egg. He already achieves an American Dream of status and wealth, the certain desires that Gatsby and Wilson focus on; however, he lacks contentment in his marriage, so he cannot achieve his American Dream of finding happiness in a relationship. The characters portray much dissimilarity with their characteristics, and Fitzgerald utilizes their features to relate each of them to a different aspect of the American Dream that focuses on the pursuit of happiness; however, he uses the characters’ ultimate discontent and failure to attain their dreams to convey the inability of achieving the American Dream. Fitzgerald displays Gatsby, Wilson, and Tom with varying lifestyles to illustrate them with differences in characteristics. Gatsby’s rise from the lower class to new money in West Egg illustrates his ambition and determination for... ... middle of paper ... ...ty; however, his failure at attaining his desires illuminates the hopelessness of achieving the dream. Additionally, Wilson exemplifies a hard worker by owning his own car workshop as he strives to make his wife, Myrtle, happy by making money. His incapability to make his wife content relates to his inability to achieve his dream. Tom Buchanan portrays the desires Gatsby and Wilson yearn for with his high status and great wealth; however, his unhappiness in his marriage keeps him from living a dream and displays the overall absurdity of the American Dream. Fitzgerald utilizes contrasting characters to relate them each to a separate part of the American Dream; however, through their disappointments he communicates the impracticality of the dream. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
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