The American Dream In The Great Gatsby Essay

Good Essays
Throughout the novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American dream very elaborately and shows the idea of the American dream to be connected with the goal of achieving wealth. Fitzgerald does not praise wealth in the Great Gatsby but condemns it by drawing attention to the dreadful fall made by Gatsby. Fitzgerald finds the desire of wealth to be a corrupting impact on people. Throughout the novel, the characters with money contradict the idea of the American dream. They are portrayed to be very snobbish and unhappy people. The American dream in the novel is shown to be unachievable. For some time, the American dream has been focused upon material things that will gain people success.
In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald attempts to criticize American ideals through the use of the American dream, wealth, and corruption.
In the beginning, Gatsby was a poor army boy who fell in love with a rich girl named Daisy. Knowing from their different circumstances, he could not marry her. So Gatsby left to accumulate a lot of money. Daisy, not being able to wait for Gatsby, marries a rich man named Tom. Tom believes that it is okay for a man to be unfaithful but it is not okay for the woman to be. This caused a lot of conflict in their marriage and caused Daisy to be very unhappy. Gatsby’s dream is to be with Daisy, and since he has accumulated a lot of money, he had his mind set on getting her back. Throughout the novel, Gatsby shows his need to attain The American Dream of love and shows his determination to achieve it. You can tell that Gatsby has a clear vision of what he wants when Nick says, “..he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I gla...

... middle of paper ...

...ent efforts, or men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (23). Here, The Valley of Ashes is regarded as complete destitution and hopelessness. The people known as the lower class do not wish to live in the valley of ashes. This is why people, like Myrtle try to do anything to get away from it but instead it becomes unachievable for them. When Myrtle tried to escape from the ashes by trying to be with a rich man like Tom, she dies. This embellishes how The American dream is unattainable. When Tom goes and sees George, you can see how the higher classes look down on the lower classes because of their different social positions. The higher-class people such as, Tom, Daisy, and Jordan represent the unstructured bodies of ashes within the valley. They are inconsiderate and conceited people arising from the dead ashes, changing the American Dream.
Get Access