Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

Length: 868 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Men and women all around the world work countless hours of their lives to fulfill their dreams. In America, many people strive to make the money necessary for them to be able to buy, what they believe, will truly make them happy. In the majority of cases, this is known as the American Dream. In “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is a man that comes up from nothing and becomes involved in criminal activity to live out his version of the American Dream. Gatsby’s case is similar to Charlie Wales from “Babylon Revisited”, in that he discovers that there is more to the dream then the money and the dream is not always going to live up to the expectations he has for his life.
The American Dream is an ideal, a thing that is known for being unreachable. Some view it as an unlimited wealth, the perfect house with the bright white picket fence out front, and a beautiful family to go along with it. Others may view it for what it is, a dream—something that we can all see happening and wish that we could have but it is only a dream, not suitable for the real world. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined the American Dream as, “An American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity; also: the prosperity or life that is the realization of this ideal,” (1). Jay Gatsby lives his life based on the idea that if he has large amounts of money and the woman that he believes to be his true love, Daisy, he will be living the American Dream. However, things don’t work the way that he is expecting because the truth always comes out and for Gatsby, it ends his life.
Jay Gatsby was born into a poor family living in a small town. He grew up an intelligent and ambitious boy whom set his goals in life to ha...


... middle of paper ...


... people in his life that would and could be there for him and love him for who he was instead of how much money he made. Charlie and Gatsby fought to live out the American Dream, yet neither of them ended up in the life they were hoping for—Gatsby lost his life all together. The stories both prove that you can have all the money and you can have all of the material possessions, but if you do not have the people in your life that make it worth living, you will never live out the real American Dream.


Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Babylon Revisited.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8. Baym, Nina. Levine, Robert S. Eds. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 2164-2178. Print.
Fitzgerald, Frances Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. Print.
"American Dream." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

- America has been a land of dreams from its beginning. People immigrate to start a new life and reinvent themselves, but even the hardest working individuals have been mistreated. There’s so much to discover and to strive for. The American Dream is a concept that appreciates the struggles of those who live in America, and it’s something we’d all like to believe exists. Because, it’s so desirable, tales are often told about people who live a greater life after moving to America. Some like to think that Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby exemplifies a man who achieves the American Dream....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, literary/contextual analysis]

Better Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

The American Dream as Shown Through Jay Gatsby Essay

- Jay Gatsby becomes so enthralled in his American Dream and the immoral means that he would use to obtain it, however, that he could not see foreboding events around him. He acts in a manner of obliviousness when many of the people whom he associates with mock him, such as when and an unnamed woman in Gatsby’s house in Chapter VI gives an insincere invitation for Gatsby to come to dinner and, after Gatsby naively accepts the invitation, Tom ridicules him by asking Nick, “Doesn’t he know she doesn’t want him?”(Fitzgerald 103)....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
2716 words (7.8 pages)

Jay Gatsby´s American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- ... Nick discovers that Gatsby’s wealth comes from suspicious underground business which conflicts with his morals. While Gatsby spent his life working to become a rich man, it was not for the reasons you would expect; “He has lived not for himself, but for his dream, for his vision of the good life inspired by the beauty of a lovely rich girl” (Fahey 71). This lovely rich girl is known Daisy Buchanan, a women married to Tom Buchanan and also the love of Jay Gatsby’s life. The two met five years prior to her marriage, but were separated when Jay was forced to go off to war....   [tags: wealth, materialism, love, happiness]

Better Essays
978 words (2.8 pages)

Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, and the Pursuit of the American Dream Essays

- Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, and the Pursuit of the American Dream Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, and Arthur Miller, author of Death of a Salesman, both tell the stories of men in the costly pursuit of the American dream. As a result of several conflicts, both external and internal, both characters experience an extinction of the one thing that they have set their sights on.... The American Dream. Jay Gatsby, a mysterious, young and very wealthy man, fatally chases an impossible dream....   [tags: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Better Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Great Gatsby Research Paper

- ... Quickly, his goals changed, from money to love. Now he knew he would have to achieve his first goal in order to have any hopes of the second. Though it is possible to argue that love outshone money in Gatsby’s mind, when he stated, “Her voice is full of money,”(Fitzgerald, 120), it becomes apparent that the two thoughts are intercorrelated in his mind. In truth his flaw was passion, he could not be without a goal, and he would go to the deepest depths to achieve success. Though, in itself this is not a quality to be frowned upon, when mixed with the desire to achieve a goal by any means possible, it creates a dangerous man....   [tags: odyssey, jay, daisy, american dream]

Better Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

The Emptiness of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Jay Gatsby’s sole purpose in life is to achieve the American Dream: to become a land owner, married to the love of his life, who live in comfort and abundance. However, he never gets everything he wants as his love for Daisy is not as fully reciprocated as he wishes it to be. His dream, and the one Nick pursues as well, are only dreams in the end. The culture of the time only gives empty fulfillment with no real substance. The people, like their dreams, are only illusions of what they want to be....   [tags: American Dream Essays]

Better Essays
1122 words (3.2 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)

Gatsby's American Dream Essay

- A commonly held tenet among people from all generations is that hard work will ultimately lead to wealth and prosperity. This concept, illustrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is known as the American Dream. Although many have this dream today, it is a one in a million chance to attain it, regardless of whether or not a person is tremendously deserving of such success. James Gatz, later known as Jay Gatsby, is a character who experiences this minute probability of the American Dream coming true....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
1348 words (3.9 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)

Essay about Futility of the American Dream Exposed in The Great Gatsby

- "The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it's possible to achieve the American dream." -- Tommy Hilfiger        In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, the principle character, Jay Gatsby makes an exhaustive effort in his quest for the American Dream. The novel is Fitzgerald's vessel of commentary and criticism of the American Dream. “Fitzgerald defines this Dream, he depicts its’ beauty and irresistible lure”(Bewley 113). Through Gatsby's downfall, Fitzgerald expresses the futility and agony of the pursuit of the dream....   [tags: The Futile Pursuit of the American Dream]

Better Essays
2550 words (7.3 pages)