Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Essay

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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.

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