Great Gatsby and the American Dream

In: English and Literature

Submitted By brenooks
Words 2843
Pages 12
The ‘American Dream’ has existed since the funding of the United States. Typically, the dreamer chooses to rise from being poor to being wealthy, while accumulating things such as love, status, wealth, and power. The dream has grown through the years and time periods, even though it was based on freedom, self-reliance and the desire to be something greater. In the past the dream was for someone to go out west for land and to start a family. It has turned into a very materialistic vision of a big house, nice car, and living the easy life. As represented in the novel The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby, the American Dream was more focused on instant gratification of material things and needing material things as an indication of success.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a renaissance man; a man who has it all but started out with nothing. His plan was to achieve his dream. He was so blinded by his possessions, in front of him, that he could not see that money could not buy love or happiness. Fitzgerald demonstrated how a dream can be corrupted by one’s focus on accruing wealth, power, and expensive things. Gatsby’s dream was “ambiguous, contradictory, romantic in nature, and undeniably beautiful while at the same time grotesquely flawed” (Hearne 189). His American Dream had become tarnished and corrupted by the culture of money and opulence that surrounded him.
Gatsby was ‘new money’, and his romantic view of the wealthy did not prepare him for the self- absorbed, snobbish, group of people he was about to associate himself with. He threw lavish parties every night, yet he had no real friends to surround himself with. Gatsby bought expensive things and entertained a lot of people, but he was hoping for something more. Nick Caraway realized that Gatsby was involved in a few…...

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