gatdream The Great American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby and the American Dream

Everyone wants to be successful in life, but most often people take the wrong ways to get there. In the 1920’s the American Dream was something that everyone struggled to have. A spouse, children, money, a big house and a car meant that someone had succeeded in life. A very important aspect was money and success was determined greatly by it. This was not true in all cases however. The belief that every man can rise to success no matter what his beginnings. Jay Gatsby was a poor boy that turned into a very wealthy man, but did he live the American Dream? Money is actually the only thing that Gatsby had a lot of. Jay Gatsby tries to live the life of The American Dream, but fails in his battle.

I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes – a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. (P. 171).

On his last visit to Gatsby’s house, Nick realizes that Gatsby’s belief in life and love resembles the hope and faith of those early Dutch sailors coming to America, looking forward to freedom and spiritual and material jubilation. With this in mind, we can be sure that Gatsby is the reflection of the American Dream. So, in what way is Gatsby representative of the American Dream?

After people have determined their specific aspirations, they need to structure a course of actions to achieve them in order to bring their dreams to reality. For Gatsby, his dream is very easily realized, to a certain extent, by virtue of his immense ambition and idealism. As described by Nick in the novel, Gatsby has an "extraordinary gift for hope", which has never been found in any other person:

If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away.
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