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Great Gatsby Essay: The Pursuit of the American Dream

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❶The desire for a luxurious life is what lures Myrtle into having an affair with Tom. Gatsby looks up to the American dream and follows it so he can be the picture perfect man that every girl desires.

Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

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I'd never understood before. It was full of money--that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals' song of it. High in a white palace the king's daughter, the golden girl. But Daisy, of course, is only human — flawed, flighty, and ultimately unable to embody the huge fantasy Gatsby projects onto her.

So this, in turn, means that the American Dream itself is just a fantasy, a concept too flimsy to actually hold weight, especially in the fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world of s America.

But consider the fact that Daisy was already born into the highest level of American society. The expectation placed on her, as a wealthy woman, was never to pursue something greater, but simply to maintain her status.

In contrast, Myrtle, aside from Gatsby, seems to be the most ambitiously in pursuit of getting more than she was given in life. She parlays her affair with Tom into an apartment, nice clothes, and parties, and seems to revel in her newfound status.

But of course, she is knocked down the hardest, killed for her involvement with the Buchanans, and specifically for wrongfully assuming she had value to them. Considering that Gatsby did have a chance to leave New York and distance himself from the unfolding tragedy, but Myrtle was the first to be killed, you could argue the novel presents an even bleaker view of the American Dream where women are concerned.

The American Dream as shown in Gatsby becomes even more pessimistic through the lens of the female characters. Focusing the lens on the women is predictably depressing. Was Gatsby's dream worth it? Was all the work, time, and patience worth it for him?

Gatsby lost everything, not to mention the Wilsons got caught up in the tragedy and ended up dead! In other words, Gatsby has a larger-than-life persona and he never would have been content to remain in North Dakota to be poor farmers like his parents.

Even if he ends up living a shorter life, he certainly lived a full one full of adventure. In fact, it seems Jay lived several lives in the space of just half a normal lifespan. How does Fitzgerald examine this issue of deferred dreams? What do you think are the effects of postponing our dreams? How can you apply this lesson to your own life? Apparently, dreams deferred are dreams doomed to fail. Any prompt like this one which has a section of more personal reflection gives you freedom to tie in your own experiences and point of view, so be thoughtful and think of good examples from your own life!

Explain how the novel does or does not demonstrate the death of the American Dream. What does the novel offer about American identity? In this prompt, another one that zeroes in on the dead or dying American Dream, you could discuss how the destruction of three lives Gatsby, George, Myrtle and the cynical portrayal of the old money crowd illustrates a dead, or dying American Dream.

After all, if the characters who dream end up dead, and the ones who were born into life with money and privilege get to keep it without consequence, is there any room at all for the idea that less-privileged people can work their way up?

This observation suggests an American identity that is determined by birthplace, and that within the American identity there are smaller, inescapable points of identification.

Furthermore, for those in the novel not born into money, the American identity seems to be about striving to end up with more wealth and status. But in terms of the portrayal of the old money set, particularly Daisy, Tom, and Jordan, the novel presents a segment of American society that is essentially aristocratic — you have to be born into it.

In that regard, too, the novel presents a fractured American identity, with different lives possible based on how much money you are born with. In short, I think the novel disrupts the idea of a unified American identity or American dream, by instead presenting a tragic, fractured, and rigid American society, one that is divided based on both geographic location and social class. Most would consider dreams to be positive motivators to achieve success, but the characters in the novel often take their dreams of ideal lives too far.

Explain how characters' American Dreams cause them to have pain when they could have been content with more modest ambitions. Gatsby is an obvious choice here — his pursuit of money and status, particularly through Daisy, leads him to ruin. In a sense, she seems to be living her ideal life in her affair with Tom — she has a fancy NYC apartment, hosts parties, and gets to act sophisticated — but these pleasures end up gravely hurting George, and of course her association with Tom Buchanan gets her killed.

The Great Gatsby is, among other things, a sobering and even ominous commentary on the dark side of the American dream. Discuss this theme, incorporating the conflicts of East Egg vs.

West Egg and old money vs. What does the American dream mean to Gatsby? What did the American Dream mean to Fitzgerald? How does morality fit into achieving the American dream? In other words, you should discuss how the Great Gatsby seems to turn the idea of the American Dream as described in the quote on its head: So instead, Gatsby turned to crime after the war to quickly gain a ton of money.

The climax of the story, when Gatsby, originally coming from the lower classes dies for the thing Daisy had done is seen as one more example of the inconsistency of the American dream, and another example of the carelessness of the upper aristocracy. To sum it up, one should say that though Fitzgerald implies a great number of symbols in The Great Gatsby, the true meaning of them is not in the foreground. Loved this essay about The Great Gatsby?

Feel free to use it as an example and as an inspiration source! The Great Gatsby Essay Example: Symbolism and American Dream.

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We have many competent and certified writers available to process your essay and you can chat with them online to find the best one to work with. We have many certified writers who are ready to happily process your essay even with a 4-hour deadline. She figures out that she could have married for money with Gatsby but would have had love too.

The ambition for something has thrown Gatsby over the edge. His love and chase for Daisy has taken over his whole life.

He feels that he has to live up to the American dream to accomplish what he truly dreams for, which is Daisy. While Gatsby was away fighting in the war, Daisy met Tom and married him.

Daisy had always been rich and Gatsby thought that in order to get Daisy back, he needs to have money so that he would be able to give Daisy anything she wanted.

There was a green light where Daisy lived that Gatsby would always look out to. The green light is of great significance in this novel. Knowing this, one can see that no matter how hard Gatsby tries to live his fantasy, he will never be able to achieve it. Through close examination of the green light, one may learn that the force that empowers Gatsby to follow his lifelong aspiration is that of the American Dream.

Fitzgerald uses the green light as a symbol of hope, money, and jealousy. Gatsby looks up to the American dream and follows it so he can be the picture perfect man that every girl desires. Gatsby cares a lot about how people see him, and his appearance towards others.

He wants everything to look perfect for Daisy, as he wants Daisy to view him as a perfect man. I suspected he meant my grass. Gatsby becomes corrupted because his main goal is to have Daisy. He needs to have an enormous mansion so he could feel confident enough to try and get Daisy. Gatsby was blinded by the American dream and as a result of this, cause destruction of Gatsby himself. It was evident that this dream only truly caused corruption and destruction.

The desire for something sometimes causes people to be someone they are not and this usually does not result in a positive outcome. Most characters in the novel The Great Gatsby all wanted money, wealth and happiness and would do anything in their power to get this. Myrtle, Gatsby and Daisy have all been corrupted and destroyed by the dream and it was clear to be true.


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Gatsby was blinded by the American dream and as a result of this, cause destruction of Gatsby himself. He didn’t end up getting what he wanted because the American dream took over who he truly was. The American dream is a powerful dream that was significant in .

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Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby, a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in , nowadays is rightly seen as the classics of the American literature. On the face of it, the plot seems to be a usual story of broken hopes and expectations.

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- The Great Gatsby: A Tarnished American Dream Thesis: In his influential book The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald recognizes and describes many of the less alluring characteristics of the 's and the pursuit of the American Dream including dysfunctional relationships, materialism and classism. The Great Gatsby American Dream Essay Words | 7 Pages The Great Gatsby is a novel that illustrates the society in the 's and the associated beliefs, values and dreams of the American population at that time.

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The Great Gatsby is a tragic love story on the surface, but it’s most commonly understood as a pessimistic critique of the American Dream. In the novel, Jay Gatsby overcomes his poor past to gain an incredible amount of money and a limited amount of social cache in s NYC, only to be rejected by the “old money” crowd. The Great Gatsby is a compelling love story which commonly criticizes the American dream negatively. In the novel, Jay Gatsby gains status and money and thus overcome his troubled past which led to hate and rejection from those who had acquired riches earlier, and later they killed him.