Name here Professor English 17 October 2012 Extravagance: The Great American Dream - or Nightmare? In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is portrayed as being a symbol of the American dream, but ironically, this “dream” ends up being more of a nightmare…
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But when Gatsby returned from the war to New York with riches and a newfound power, he was able to grab hold of the American dream. This dream that became a reality, however, seemed to sell Gatsby short, as he tragically found that his newly acquired wealth and social status - as well as the girl of his dreams, Daisy Buchanan - could not purchase his happiness. In fact, this dream came at the price of his good character, and ultimately, his life. Fitzgerald uses Gatsby in this novel to represent what went wrong with America - a society in the Roaring Twenties that turned its back on morals and integrity to embrace wealth, prestige, parties, immorality and alcohol - ingredients not for happiness and fulfillment, but for loneliness and despair. Fitzgerald begins dismantling the heightened image of the American dream through the character and narrator, Nick Caraway, who often describes and characterizes Gatsby during his quest for Daisy, respect, and acceptance. Unlike most of the other characters in the novel, however, Nick sees through Gatsby’s supposed fulfillment and satisfaction, and does not envy the “great Gatsby,” who is praised and idolized by the indulgent materialistic crowds that gather at his mansion to party and drink. This lifestyle that society was told to buy into did not appeal to Nick, “Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it was what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the aborted sorrows and short-winded elations of men,” (Fitzgerald 6). Instead of seeing Gatsby as a high-paying consumer, Nick sees Gatsby as the one who was being consumed by the price of having to pay dearly to reach his costly dreams, which will ultimately cost him his life. Nick saw through the false promises of happiness to be attained by pursuing and reaching the American dream, and he notes that any satisfaction or happiness gleaned as a result is shallow and short-lived. Early on, the reader witnesses that the ideals of glitz, glamour, prestige, promiscuity, and all the trappings of what became known as the high society in the Roaring Twenties is not what it is cut out to be. Even though Gatsby and the high-brow company he keeps are characterized as living the American dream, the author uses Nick to show the true depravity of those who jump on board to live for this flawed concept. Nick actually calls Gatsby out, telling him exactly what he thinks about those who believe that they have reached the top of the ladder in life, “They’re a rotten crowd . . . You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together,” (Fitzgerald 162). Through Nick, Fitzgerald shows that Gatsby and all the partying elite with which he surrounds himself are morally depraved - even though they hold themselves up as being above the rest of society (that has not achieved the American dream). Nick even sets himself apart from Gatsby and his wealthy revelers, noting that virtuous behavior is far from what those chasing after the American dream possess, “Everyone suspects themselves of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known,” (Fitzgerald 64). This statement goes to show that moral behavior in the upper class society on Long ...
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However, through The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald dons the role of a social critic to bring out the adherence and affinity of the generation towards false material values during the Jazz era (Bruccoli, 2000). Through the rise and fall of Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerlad critiques the American society that was keen on affluence and was morally irresponsible.
Scott Fitzgerald, which is internalized in the life of Jay Gatz. The direction of Gatz is moving to the green light, which symbolizes his dreams to relive the past, back to the time when Daisy Buchanan loved him. Gatz reaches his dream for a short term though the help of Nick Carraway, but it ends with his death.
It was a sacred philosophy but turned into a materialistic policy today. Today, “American Dream” has changed into something different and it has taken the meaning of wealth, beauty and material possession. In Fitzgerald’s Novel, Great Gatsby, he had represented the character of Gatsby as the one holding American Dream up to ridicule.
Legally and surreptitiously it is believed that immigrants and working class Native Americans have easily achieved prosperous life style in the competitive US economy, but such believers are far away from bitter reality of mobility towards achievements in the US.
While serving in the Army in World War I, Gatsby met Daisy Fay (now Daisy Buchanan) and fell passionately in love with her. He worked briefly for a millionaire, and became acquainted with the people and customs of high society. This, coupled with his love of Daisy, inspired Gatsby to devote his life to the acquisition of wealth.
Fitzgerald attempts to extract both a sense of imprisonment and preservation as a direct result of prosperity. Nevertheless, through evoking the historical sense of the roaring twenties, which included organized crime as a channel to disobey the laws and a rapid economic growth generating widespread wealth, Fitzgerald reveals various themes that stem from the decay of morals and values in a period of corruption.
The Buchanans live on one side, East Egg, and Jay Gatsby lives on the other side, West Egg. The Buchanans are the socialites, and living a meaningless lives . Gatsby peruses the American Dream, and to chase his idea he throws parties to try and fit in with the
At seventeen, he tasted opulence while living with Cody on his yacht. For a short while, Gatsby experienced the American Dream with Cody. Gatsby could have found his America Dream through education, but that