• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream'. Explore the theme of dreams in 'The Great Gatsby'. How significant is this theme in other American texts you have read?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream'. Explore the theme of dreams in 'The Great Gatsby'. How significant is this theme in other American texts you have read? One of the principle themes of Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' is that of dreams - all inextricably bound to the American Dream. The ideology of spiritual and material success is one that is powerfully explored through Jay Gatsby's character and his passion for Daisy Buchannan. The American Dream is justice, liberty, equality and wealth which it claims, can all be achieved through thrift and hard work. The theme of the American Dream or the Anti-Dream has and continues to be frequently used as the central theme in American literature. Jay Gatsby's dream is to gain, status, wealth and the love of Daisy Buchannan, who embodies everything that Gatsby yearns for. The setting of the novel represents the status that Gatsby dreams of. Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby both live in West Egg, which is representative of 'new money'. Whereas Daisy and Tom Buchannan live in East Egg, which is inhabited by people with 'old money'. In chapter 7, at the Plaza Hotel, Tom, deploring Gatsby's advances to Daisy, calls him 'Mr. ...read more.

Middle

His real brake came when Dan Cody moored his yacht in the shallows of Lake Superior, and young James Gatz warned him of possible danger from high wind. It was at this point that the new name came into being, to match the beauty and glamour which Cody's yacht represented to him. Gatsby was rewarded with an education in the ways of the world from this opportunist millionaire, 'a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since seventy-five'. However, it was not until he met Daisy Fay that his desire for high status and wealth became stronger than ever before. She had a 'voice full of money' and although they were in love, they could not be together due to there different social status's, for, Daisy was a wealthy Southern girl and Gatsby was a struggling soldier. Gatsby does achieve the wealth he dreamed about as a youngster, although not totally legitimately as the theme of boot-legging, which was the illegal making and selling of alcohol, comes up several times in the novel. However Gatsby did not completely get the dream. Perhaps Fitzgerald is suggesting that it is impracticable to get the whole dream. ...read more.

Conclusion

She seems unable to accept that that wealth her family once had has been lost. Both Gatsby and Blanche do not realise that it is impossible to retrieve the past and have everything as it once was. In John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men', George and Lenny's dream is to be able to 'live off the fatta the land', this is the most important dream of the character's in the novel. Having their own land would enable them to have protection from an inhospitable world; this dream represents a prototypical American ideal. Their journey, which awakens George to the impossibility of this dream, sadly proves that Crooks is right that 'such paradises of freedom, contentment, and safety are not to be found in this world'. Fitzgerald said that 'America's greatest promise is that something is going to happen, and after a while you get tired because nothing happens to people except they grow old'. Although it seems that authors of American literature are anti the American Dream, it is probable that they are not pessimistic at all, except they are stating the importance of knowing the difference between truth and illusion that the past is impossible to retrieve, that in fact there is nothing wrong with having dreams and aspirations, but as Boorstin said, 'the dream is to be reached for and not to be lived in'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Beneath the Surface Glitter, The Great Gatsby is a Profoundly Pessimistic Novel. Do You ...

    4 star(s)

    This shows the world in which Gatsby lived was wrought with materialism, and all but one of his friends were victim to it. Everyone in this book seeks the American Dream; everyone except Tom and Daisy, who are the epitamy of it.

  2. Peer reviewed

    What is so Great about Gatsby? The word great in the title gives the ...

    4 star(s)

    It is interesting then that the first time the reader is introduced to Gatsby in person that it goes by unnoticed to us and to Nick.

  1. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither

  2. American Sociopath? - The Talented Mr Ripley

    Is Tom's attraction towards Dickie and his identity more than just social jealousy? Orphaned as a child and reared by an oppressive aunt, self-loathing Tom admires others who appear confident and sophisticated. Tom is taken with the life and looks of Dickie Greenleaf.

  1. "Gatsby is a Victim of the American Dream." Discuss Scott Fitzgerald's Portrayal of Gatsby ...

    This is what makes Gatsby a victim, the reader is forced to see the situation through the eyes of a follower and an admirer. From the dictionary term of victim we can understand that Gatsby is most definitely a victim, not only of the American dream, but of murder.

  2. "The Great Gatsby" and the American Dream.

    While you can argue whether or not it is the only reason, Jay's main reason for desiring wealth is because he sees it as a means to win Daisy over. This is why Gatsby deals in the criminal underworld and associates with Meyer Wolfshiem, the mysterious callers from Philadelphia and Chicago and, of course, the infamous "underground pipe-line to Canada".

  1. Death of the American - Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

    Fitzgerald never makes it clear where Gatsby's money comes from, but even these possibly illegal tactics do not completely pervert Gatsby's pursuit of the American Dream. Gatsby loves Daisy, but she refused to marry him earlier in his life because he was not wealthy enough.

  2. Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative styles.

    This seems ridiculous, because the author is referring to food, but the impression conveyed is that only at Gatsby's parties would you find such luxury. Fitzgerald's descriptions do dazzle the eye with wealth and opulence, as we have seen, but it is through Nick that we are brought down to earth, as he exposes the truth and reality behind it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work