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

The Great Gatsby, so, is a perfect example of the decay of the American Dream.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Anna Paola Soliani IB Oral Presentation The 1920's were a decade of renaissance characterized by the establishment of the "American Dream" that is, the belief that anyone can, and should, achieve material success. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby, contains themes and morals that continue to be relevant today. In his novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American Dream by describing its negative characteristics: class struggles between the rich and the poor, the superficiality of the rich, and the false relationship between money and happiness. Furthermore, the main character also serves as a metaphor for the inevitable downfall of American Dream. The Great Gatsby, so, is a perfect example of the decay of the American Dream. In the novel, Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse into the life of the high class during the roaring twenties through the eyes of a credible young man named Nick Carraway, who is the first person narrator. It is, in fact, through the narrator's dealings with high society that the reader is shown how modern values have transformed the American Dream's pure ideals into a scheme for materialistic power and even more, how the world of high society lacks any sense of morals or consequence. ...read more.

Middle

And one fine morning-" Gatsby's goal gave him a purpose in life, which sets him apart from the rest of the upper class. He is constantly chasing his dream of being with Daisy, from the moment he stretches toward her house to his final days of life when he patiently waits for hours outside her house even though she has already abandoned her affair with him. Gatsby is a man who has all of the purest traits of the old American hero, hope, perseverance, but he loses them by wearing the dream's modern face. F. Scott Fitzgerald thorugh his novel also shows the destruction of the American Dream to wealth, privilege, and the lack of humanity that those aspects create. Money is clearly identified as the main culprit in the dream's death. It becomes easily entangled with hope and success and replacing their positions in the American Dream with materialism. This is shown through Gatsby's use of illegal practices and underground connections to make money. His lavish parties, his huge mansion, and his giant collection of clothing all represent his corruption. Since he symbolises the American dream and since he is corrupt, then also the American Dream is corrupt. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of the hopes and dreams that strengthened Gatsby are shattered as he lies in his pool, dazed and confused about the world he is living in and about to leave. After shooting Gatsby, George Wilson, the symbol of the common man who is trying to achieve his own success in the modern dream, commits suicide. The deaths of both the rich and poor man trying to achieve their goals symbolize the death of the old American Dream. The dream is now completely lost and can never be restored. Through the tragic story of Jay Gatsby and his failed attempt to reach his dream, F. Scott Fitzgerald also describes the failure of the American Dream and he does so through the frequent use of symbols and metaphors, like the green light at the end of the dock. The characters in The Great Gatsby are the carriers of Fitzgerald's message to the reader- that is, the old American dream and all of its pure ideals have been replaced with money, greed, and materialism. Nick Carraway conveys this message as an outsider, an honest man from the mid-west who witnessed the whole affair as an observer. The Great Gatsby is not about the life and death of James Gatz, but about what James Gatz stood for. So, it is more about the life and death of the old American Dream. ...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. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    In this way, money and success is merely the stepping-stone by which Gatsby attains his ultimate goal - winning Daisy back from Tom. Gatsby is a person of magic, being able to manipulate and even change his fate. He was born penniless in an unsuccessful farming family in the Mid-west,

  2. "How do the values and attitudes of the Great Gatsby reflect the American Dream".

    Germany during the war, there is also another striking example of how the American Dream has failed Gatsby. The perception of a rather drunken guest who had found himself situated in Gatsby's library was suprised that the books therein were actually real.

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

    This is perfectly described by Lois Tyson in her book of critical theory; "An idealisation is fore grounded in Nick's narrative through his focus on romantic images of Gatsby: the rebellious boy, the ambitious young roughneck, the idealised dreamer, the devoted lover, the brave soldier, the lavish host.

  2. "What qualities of Daisy from the 'Great Gatsby' and Nora from 'A Dolls House' ...

    They attempt to fill the void in their lives, left by their dead lovers, as well as run away from the repercussions of their irresponsible actions. It is at this point where we realise that Daisy accepts the conventional life she is fated to live for future materialistic gains.

  1. "The character of Jay Gatsby symbolises the corruption of the American Dream in 'The ...

    of the apparent preference of progression over tradition, or 'new' over 'old', true to both society and Gatsby. The unhappy irony is that the past he so desperately tries to change holds something that Gatsby longs for; his time with Daisy.

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

    This is also why Gatsby is so keen to show Daisy his house and his many shirts; they are a sign of his wealth and what he thinks will change her mind from her earlier rejection of his love. This also explains the recklessness Gatsby seems to show with his

  1. How Has Fitzgerald Presented The Character Of Daisy In 'The Great Gatsby'?

    I consider this to be an interesting point, as Tom doesn't always treat Daisy the way he should and often has an aggressive attitude towards her, shouting at her and ordering her around. He is also having an affair with Myrtle, and although Daisy knows about it she, at times,

  2. The Great Gatsby-The American Dream

    But the corruption of the "American Dream" has made Gatsby think money is the answer to his dream, specifically that he can win Daisy and become her ideal through money. Nick states that "...Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness

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