The American Dream In Francis Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'

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Research Paper “The Great Gatsby” What Lies Within “The American Dream was based on the assumption that each person, no matter what his origins, could succeed in life on the sole basis of his or her own skill and effort.” This definition of the American Dream from Barron’s Book Notes shows the goals of the American People. Francis Scott Fitzgerald capitalized on this dream and the corruption that lies within it during the 1920’s in his novel, The Great Gatsby. Although many meanings, lessons, and themes are present in this story, the central theme can be stated as, “A dream can often times become corrupted.” Money, power, and fame are supposed to drive an individual to success, but this ideology may do the opposite. This part of history,…show more content…
Part of him thought that hard work and being a self-made man was one of the most important values to live by. The other part of Fitzgerald believed that money, fame, and social class had been just as high on the ladder of importance. “He both loved and hated money. He was attracted to the life of the very rich as an outsider who had very little, and at the same time he hated the falseness and hypocrisy and cruelty of their lives” (Abbott 1). One example of Fitzgerald’s doubleness is shown in an academic aspect during his Princeton school years. He failed his entrance exams more than once, but somehow convinced the admissions committee to accept him anyway. “Personal magnetism was able to achieve what hard work had not” (Abbott 3). Fitzgerald experienced first hand just how much the power of social class has upon an individual’s success. After Fitzgerald was sent home from Princeton because of a case of Malaria, he joined the army. During this time Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre while he was stationed. Zelda was to later become his wife. Zelda not only had a huge influence on Fitzgerald’s personal life, but also his writing. “It was love at first sight. Just as Jay Gatsby, an outsider with no money and no respectable family, falls utterly in love with Daisy Fay, so the Midwestern outsider Scotts Fitzgerald fell head over heels in love with the Montgomery belle Zelda Sayre” (Abbott 5). Unlike Zelda, Fitzgerald was young without very much money to his name. Zelda turned Fitzgerald down after proposing to him. This same type of relationship is found within the Great Gatsby between young Jay Gatsby and Daisy Fay Buchanan. As Fitzgerald’s success wavered so did Zelda’s mind about marrying him. After his first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published and fame was brought to his name, Zelda finally agreed to marry him. Throughout the next years of his life he lived the

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