The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

Length: 864 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Hands on the Wheel
The freedom in self endowment has always been the fuel to the average American citizen and his drive toward success. In other words, Americans always strive to achieve the ever so revered American Dream. What is the American Dream? David Kamp describes the American Dream as "the idea rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."(Kamp). The dream lies deeply rooted in American society and the very mention of it lights a passionate fire in the hearts of American citizens everywhere. The idea behind the dream is that if an individual has sufficient willpower, he or she has a fair chance of achieving wealth as well as the freedom and happiness that come packaged with it. Essentially, it offers the opportunity of achieving spiritual and material fulfillment. It promises success at the cost of hard work and perseverance. Over time however, this idea of attaining success through hard work and perseverance has been skewed into one which exploits greed and carelessness and The Great Gatsby is an excellent affirmation of this. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald derides the gradual corruption of hard work and perseverance in the American Dream by utilizing the motif of driving and incorporating it with the the ideas of greed and carelessness.

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald affiliates driving with greed and carelessness by revealing Jordan Baker's selfish motive while driving and Daisy's recklessness when driving. He uses the specific incident of when Daisy kills Myrtle to portray carelessness. After a heated argument bet...


... middle of paper ...


... on the demise of true hard work and how it slowly turned into greed through the example of Jordan Baker. Jordan Baker is continually portrayed as the "modern woman" throughout the novel insinuating that she is a representation of the general populous in the 1920s.She is obviously a successful woman who became rich as she is a professional golfer. The greed she portrays in this scene is hinting that the fact that she used the ideal of greed instead of hardworking to achieve her success.Her willingness to attain what she wants at other peoples expenses is what makes her succeed.This shows how her personal American Dream, and in turn the general American Dream of the 1920s, is flawed.


Works Cited
"David Kamp." Vanity Fair. N.p., Apr. 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

- Introduction F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, “The Great Gatsby”, is one of the few novels he wrote in 1925. The novel takes place during the 1920’s following the 1st World War. It is written about a young man named Nick, from the east he moved to the west to learn about the bond business. He ends up moving next to a mysterious man named Gatsby who ends up giving him the lesion of his life. After love circles with Gatsby and his cousin Daisy, lastly Jordan and gossip resulting with killings end up discussed over his experience resulting going back east....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Free Essays
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Distortion of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- In the past the American Dream was an inspiration to many, young and old. To live out the American Dream was what once was on the minds of many Americans. In The Great Gatsby, the American Dream was presented as a corrupted version of what used to be a pure and honest ideal way to live. The idea that the American Dream was about the wealth and the possessions one had been ingrained, somehow, into the minds of Americans during the 1920’s. As a result of the distortion of the American Dream, the characters of F....   [tags: Essays on The Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
2554 words (7.3 pages)

Kane, Gatsby, And The American Dream Essay

- The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Citizen Kane a movie directed by Orson Welles are both monumental stories in American society as they both represent the American dream at it’s most brilliant high. The Great Gatsby is all about time and the American dream; it is essentially what consumes Gatsby. Both Kane and Gatsby are representations of the American dream, and as we read into their stories we see that time and the dream become so intertwined that it is hard to see them apart....   [tags: American Dream, Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

The Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- On April 10, 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, a novel that would later become one of the best known pieces of classic literature in history. However, at the time of its publication, Gatsby was fairly unpopular ad the reviews were never consistent. As shocking as it may seem, I believe it is because Fitzgerald’s intelligence and creativity levels were way ahead of his time, which is evident when one pays close attention to the themes of the novel. Forgiveness, love, and memory of the past are just a few themes you will come across in this story....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

The Great Gatsby And The American Dream Essays

- The American Dream’s most basic definition is that anyone from any beginning could achieve wealth and status. Gangsters rose to power, taking advantage of Prohibition and turning to bootlegging turning a pretty profit. Immigrants from all over Europe used this as motivation to find a better life in America. This idea of “rags to riches” is portrayed in The Great Gatsby and is the primary ideology of The Roaring 20s. Booze, money, and corruption. The embodiment of The Roaring 20s. 1920, Congress shocks the world passing the Volstead Act, banning alcohol causing the start of the infamous Prohibition....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Better Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

The Great Gatsby: The Decline of The American Dream Essay

- The pursuit of the American Dream has been alive for generations. People from nations all over the world come to America for the chance to achieve this legendary dream of freedom, opportunity, and the “all American family”. However, in the 1920’s this dream began to take a different form. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, unfolds what the American Dream really meant during the roaring 20’s. The Great Gatsby tells a story of the affluent Jay Gatsby and his dream of attaining the love of the married Daisy Buchanan....   [tags: The Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

The Great Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

- 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....   [tags: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Better Essays
945 words (2.7 pages)

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- The American dream is sought after and imagined by everyone who comes to America. It is the main reason that people come to America; they come for freedom as well as to one day attain the idea of a perfect American dream. It theoretically symbolizes what you have accomplished in life and what you wish to one day have. In my personal opinion if any person wants come to America to live a life of happiness, be released of religious persecution and the freedom to say what you feel, then it can be accomplished....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Free Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

The American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Within the veins of every American flows the undeniable drive to succeed. This power creates rich from poor, turns struggles into money and ultimately opens the window for all peoples to better themselves. Although the American dream still converts dirt into gold today, views on this leap to greatness have changed moderately since the 1920’s. In the beginning America was new and undiscovered. There were resources just waiting to be taken hold of in order to attain great riches and with this came the birth of the American Dream....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Free Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Depiction Of The American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- As children, we have all dreamt of money, being rich; owning an extravagant mansion, magnificent cars, and being married to a prince or princess. Basically, we dream of the perfect life, with the perfect spouse. Generally, this dream is known as the American Dream, which is the belief that if one works hard, that person will succeed by becoming rich. The topic of the American Dream can be found throughout The Great Gatsby, the most prime example of this is the dream of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s dream is to work hard to get rich in order to win the love of Daisy Buchanan, his long lost love....   [tags: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Better Essays
991 words (2.8 pages)