The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

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Wealth, material possessions, and power are the core principles of The American Dream. Pursuit of a better life led countless numbers of foreign immigrants to America desiring their chance at the vast opportunity. Reaching the American Dream is not always reaching true happiness. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby achieves the American Dream, but his unrealistic faiths in money and life’s possibilities twist his dreams and life into useless life based on lies.

Jay Gatsby believes he can buy happiness. For example, Gatsby's house is “ A factual imitation of some Hotel De Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (The Great Gatsby 9). His house is nothing more than an perfect symbol of his vast income. Gatsby uses the house in an attempt to win happiness and respect from his peers. Furthermore, Gatsby also tries to impress others with such unimportant possessions as his clothing, as when Daisy emotionally comments, ”beautiful shirts… It makes me sad because I have never seen such beautiful shirts before”(98). Crying over articles of clothing is outrageous, yet it is not the shirts that overwhelm Daisy. Their symbolism of Gatsby’s unlimited wealth and faith in money is truly saddening. Also, Gatsby realizes that Daisy’s main and only concern in life is money. Gatsby pursues immoral and often illegal actions in pursuit of wealth, subconsciou...

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