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Great Gatsby Essay: The Pursuit of the American Dream

Argumentative essay topics for The Great Gatsby

❶Daisy thinks she has everything, wealth, love and happiness which all tie into the American dream, but then she discovers that she has nothing and that she has been corrupted by this specific dream. Alcohol caused the downfall of Fitzgerald as well.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby Essay Examples
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Gatsby is killed by

They attend his parties, drink his liquor, and eat his food, never once taking the time to even meet their host nor do they even bother to wait for an invitation, they just show up. When Gatsby dies, all the people who frequented his house every week mysteriously became busy elsewhere, abandoning Gatsby when he could no longer do anything for them. One would like to think the newly wealthy would be more sensitive to the world around them — after all, it was only recently they were without money and most doors were closed to them.

As Fitzgerald shows, however, their concerns are largely living for the moment, steeped in partying and other forms of excess. Just as he did with people of money, Fitzgerald uses the people with no money to convey a strong message. Nick, although he comes from a family with a bit of wealth, doesn't have nearly the capital of Gatsby or Tom.

In the end, though, he shows himself to be an honorable and principled man, which is more than Tom exhibits. Myrtle, though, is another story. She comes from the middle class at best. She is trapped, as are so many others, in the valley of ashes, and spends her days trying to make it out. In fact, her desire to move up the social hierarchy leads her to her affair with Tom and she is decidedly pleased with the arrangement. Because of the misery pervading her life, Myrtle has distanced herself from her moral obligations and has no difficulty cheating on her husband when it means that she gets to lead the lifestyle she wants, if only for a little while.

What she doesn't realize, however, is that Tom and his friends will never accept her into their circle. Notice how Tom has a pattern of picking lower-class women to sleep with. For him, their powerlessness makes his own position that much more superior. In a strange way, being with women who aspire to his class makes him feel better about himself and allows him to perpetuate the illusion that he is a good and important man.

Myrtle is no more than a toy to Tom and to those he represents. Fitzgerald has a keen eye and in The Great Gatsby presents a harsh picture of the world he sees around him. The s marked a time of great post-war economic growth, and Fitzgerald captures the frenzy of the society well. Although, of course, Fitzgerald could have no way of foreseeing the stock market crash of , the world he presents in The Great Gatsby seems clearly to be headed for disaster.

They have assumed skewed worldviews, mistakenly believing their survival lies in stratification and reinforcing social boundaries. They erroneously place their faith in superficial external means such as money and materialism , while neglecting to cultivate the compassion and sensitivity that, in fact, separate humans from the animals.

Next In Praise of Comfort: Displaced Spirituality in The Great Gatsby. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title. Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? He is the control to whom Gatsby and Daisy can be compared. Before he even meets Daisy, he already wanted to become wealthy in any way he can and live a different life from those of his parents.

Creating strict schedules while living with his parents , he tries to better his mind and become a more civilized person participial. As a part of this altercation of his entire being, he changed his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby. She symbolizes the ultimate high life - a life that Gatsby has been struggling to attain for his entire existence. The rainstorm being over , Gatsby makes his boasting obvious when he demands to show off his mansion next door during his reunion with Daisy in chapter five absolute.

Not only does he value what he has, but he also wants others, mainly Daisy, to value his belongings in a similar manner and be impressed.

Using extravagant symbols of wealth in an attempt to make Daisy notice him , he throws huge parties and drives a highly visible yellow Rolls-Royce participial. Daisy is also extremely materialistic, but in a very different way from Gatsby. She already has all the money that she could ever need. She wants to maintain her wealth instead of trying to increase it, as Gatsby does. Her house is in East Egg; where everyone with old money lives. It is a place of old fortunes and civilized wealth.

A woman seeing the use of wealth as an important form of expression , Daisy is easily captivated by extravagant items of excess appositive. She even turns her head away from her true love, Gatsby, since she wants to keep living her materialistic lifestyle. His lack of obvious materialistic qualities in his character allows Fitzgerald to use Nick to demonstrate the contrast between the more materialistic characters in the novel.

Nick is mainly used to show contrast between him and Gatsby or Daisy. The comparison between Nick and Gatsby is very prevalent, since he becomes a good friend of Gatsby during the book and has a large number of interactions with him. This immediately shows the difference between Nick and Gatsby and introduces Gatsby as mysterious, rich character. His philosophy is to increase his wealth at every possible opportunity.

The same is true for Daisy in a different manner. When Nick interacts with Daisy in the novel, his narration becomes more omniscient than it is in the rest of the book.

He lacks the same kind of classy wealth that Daisy has so well mastered. Nick plays a huge role in assisting the reader in comparing the alternate varieties of materialistic yearning shown by Gatsby and Daisy in this novel.

The materialistic values clearly exhibited by Gatsby and Daisy have an undeniable impact on the plot on the novel. The entire life of Gatsby revolves around his hunger for wealth, status, and Daisy; the one who already has both. Daisy simply wants to keep what she has and live life in high class extravagance. He certainly achieved his desired effect through his use of the weather. Throughout the visit, showers from above start and stop suddenly, without warning.

Although he is very concerned about making a good impression on Daisy, Gatsby is also hopeful that he and Daisy will be happy once more. He demonstrates his hope through his putting great efforts into the preparations for the party. This loss of hope is reflected by the rain slowly ebbing away. In reality, Daisy is not so late as to merit his giving up. Significantly, Gatsby is not certain that he is acting wisely because he, Gatsby, has wanted this meeting for so long and so much.

Although Gatsby is not completely ready to lose all hope of Daisy coming, he is barely hopeful. However, he is still hopeful. Moreover, the uncertainty in his voice parallels the fact that although his hope is mostly gone, it still exists, like the thin drizzle outside. Still later in the chapter, Gatsby passes into a third emotional stage of renewed of hope, and Fitzgerald emphasizes this with an increased intensity of the rain.

However, she is not crying at that moment, again demonstrating the variability and scope of emotions the pair has been feeling, once again reflected in the rain patterns. Finally, Gatsby reaches his goal, his green light, and the rain withdraws- Gatsby does not need to hope to attain Daisy anymore because he has acquired her. Notice that it has completely stopped raining.

Just like the green light that appears earlier in the novel, once he reaches Daisy, the magical, idealistic quality of her and the green light disappears. The rain, similar to the green light, ceases to be a symbol, and therefore, to exist once Gatsby has attained his goal.

At the conclusion of the chapter, Gatsby passes through a final stage, in which he is disappointed but, as a result, becomes hopeful once more- thus it begins to rain again. Not only in chapter five is the intensity of the rain especially noteworthy, but also throughout the entire novel weather plays a significant role, always carefully recorded by Nick.

Singularly, Fitzgerald uses the intensity of the rain to represent hope. More frequently, the rain symbolizes negative emotions, like sadness or fear. The Sewanee Review Vol. The Johns Hopkins University Press. The American dream is a tacit promise given to all citizens in this country, which states that regardless of social class, any individual can aspire to new heights based upon the ideology of meritocracy.

However, The Great Gatsby, F. This delusion of the American Dream is the paramount theme in The Great Gatsby, and it is the main message Fitzgerald attempts to convey in his saddening, but insightful novel.

Daisy is stupefying and elusive , a crucial character who represents the American Dream appositive phrase ; when Gatsby unsuccessfully attempts to woo Daisy back, this unveils the false promise of the American Dream.

Here, Daisy herself is the American dream, since her voice causes excitement within men in the same manner in which the American Dream provokes excitement. The issue of meritocracy is also prevalent in this novel. It is economically impossible for all of us to achieve the American Dream, which is what Fitzgerald, is saying when Daisy chooses Tom over Gatsby. This incident symbolizes how the upper class persistently destroys the dreams and hopes of the aspiring middle class to take their place in the elite class.

Not only does Daisy symbolize the American Dream, but the green light also reflects the illusion of the American Dream. However, in chapter seven, Gatsby is defeated in his goal to claim Daisy, proving he was foolish to accept and not question the tacit agreement in chapter five that he has finally won Daisy back. The manner in which the green light in presented in this novel resembles the evident tacit lie of the American Dream. Lastly, the false hope of the American Dream is reflected through the manner in which Gatsby is rejected from the elite class.

He reinvents himself into Jay Gatsby and consistently hosts parties in order to be accepted into the elite class. The American Dream is a persistently celebrated aspect of American society; however Fitzgerald draws from his own life experiences in order to convey that this promise is false. This issue is so surreal and grave not only because the American Dream is false, but mainly because this ideal has been passed down from generation to generation of Americans.

In other words, the upper class stays in the upper class, and the lower class stays in the lower class, which clearly presented in The Great Gatsby. In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby and the lesser character Myrtle Wilson both try to reach their goal, their American dream; however, their fate reflects an important statement on the true nature of such a dream.

The characters Tom and Daisy have not had to reach this dream because they have always been in possession of it, and thus present a stark contrast to ideals of Gatsby and Myrtle's dream.

In the final passage of the novel, the nature of the dream is further defined and extended. Fitzgerald uses his novel to show a pessimistic and futile view of the American dream, yet suggests that striving for it is an essential part of the American experience.

Jay Gatsby is a character who, both figuratively and literally as the imagined self of James Gatz , is presented for the sole purpose of achieving a dream: Gatsby is consumed by this dream and spends the novel trying to win Daisy's heart, spending little effort on anything else.

Gatsby's efforts represent the journey for the American dream, and therefore the American experience. However, the final fate of Gatsby shows Fitzgerald's thoughts on the subject. At the end of his life, Daisy has returned to Tom, and Gatsby is murdered. It is obvious that Fitzgerald has a pessimistic view of such a consuming dream.

Myrtle Wilson, like Gatsby, also has an American dream, one that involves going through Tom in order to acquire wealth. Although we do not see Tom as representation of the American dream like Daisy is, to Myrtle he is the means of reaching her dream: Myrtle lives in a poor part of New York, the valley of ashes, and is married to a blue collar auto-mechanic.

She is further away from her dream than she realizes; Tom, although plentiful with his gifts to Myrtle, has no intention of marrying her. Myrtle is very materialistic, and uses her husband borrowing a suit as an example as to why her marriage was a mistake. Like Gatsby, Myrtle is killed instead of realizing her dream. The pattern of two characters, hoping to reach their dream yet dying before this could happen if ever it could , shows that Fitzgerald thinks that the American dream is a futile and perhaps dangerous illusion.

It is important to note that the deaths are not a coincidence, but are a direct or indirect outcome of the striving for the American dream. Gatsby is protecting Daisy when he takes the blame for the car crash not that he admits to it, but lets Tom infer it.

Gatsby does this in order to reach his dream, however little hope there is left. It is because of this action that he is murdered by Wilson. In this way, Gatsby's attempts for his dream directly cause his death. In Myrtle's case, there is no direct action that leads to her death. However, it is the combination of Daisy's frantic state and Myrtle's searching for Tom, two things caused by a journey to the American dream, that causes her to be run over.

In this way, the dream indirectly causes Myrtle to be killed. Although Tom and Daisy are on some degree representative of the American dream, they are also in another way a direct antithesis to acquiring the American dream. They are of the old wealth, and although the goal of Gatsby is to be accepted into their class, it is doubtful that anyone can truly be accepted into the old wealth.

Tom and Daisy were born into it, and therefore did not have to work to become a part of it. In fact, they look down on Gatsby's class and the new wealth of the West Egg. The fact that this representation of the dream is opposed to the advancement of others shows Fitzgerald's pessimistic view and the futility of reaching the American dream. Tom and Daisy's antagonistic nature goes further than their hindering of Gatsby's journey to reach his goal. Juxtaposed to Gatsby, Tom and Daisy are truly lazy, frivolous people who, because of their lack of effort to reach their current position, take everything for granted.

In this case, Myrtle is the smashed up thing, and Gatsby is the one who cleans up the mess, by taking the blame. Tom and Daisy are living what others consider a dream but of course, they take it for granted , and they end up destroying those who wish to become like them and retreating into their carelessness. Moreover, their entire existence shows the unfair nature of American capitalism: There is something positive about his message here: Fitzgerald's tone here uplifts this impossible dream into a place of honor, where the journey is more important than the dream itself.

In these final lines, Fitzgerald states that, regardless as to whether it is possible or not, the journey to acquire the American dream is a fundamental part of the American experience. Through the stories of Gatsby and Myrtle's failure to achieve their dream, Fitzgerald portrays the American dream in a pessimistic way, as one that cannot be achieved. He emphasizes this by presenting the characters of Tom and Daisy, who represent the buffer that stop Gatsby and Myrtle from achieving their dreams.

However, the final passage of the novel shows that Fitzgerald thinks of the American dream as more than just a futile dream, whose realization is not possible. Fitzgerald presents the American dream as a need, and one that we will continue to reach for no matter how impossible it seems.

It is this act that Fitzgerald believes truly defines our nature: The casual observer may never know the man behind the mask, but a learned historian can reveal to the world the secrets that some would rather sweep under the rug.

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The Great Gatsby essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis .

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Free Great Gatsby Essays: The Truly Great Gatsby - The Truly Great Gatsby Is his novel the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald creates Gatsby as a character who becomes great. He begins life as just an ordinary, lower-class, citizen.

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Critical Essays Social Stratification: The Great Gatsby as Social Commentary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes — justice, power, greed, betrayal, the American dream, and so on. Free Essays - The Mirage in The Great Gatsby - The Mirage in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a book of love and tragedy that all leads back to dreams and ideas, but never reality. Gatsby .

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Nick alone among the novel’s characters recognizes that Gatsby’s love for Daisy has less to do with Daisy’s inner qualities than with Gatsby’s own. That is, Gatsby makes Daisy his dream because his heart demands a dream, not because Daisy truly deserves the passion that Gatsby feels for her. Aug 23,  · Suggested Essay Topics. eclipsed.ml what sense is The Great Gatsby an autobiographical novel? Does Fitzgerald write more of himself into the character of Nick or the character of Gatsby, or are the author’s qualities found in both characters?