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

The Great Gatsby-The American Dream

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Great Gatsby The American Dream Like every pen has a writer, every novel has a theme. Arthur Miller, one of the most famous writer's of America once stated, "The American dream is the largely acknowledged screen in front of which all American writing plays itself out. Whoever is writing in the United States is using the American dream as an ironic pole of his history. People tend to accept, to a far greater degree that the conditions of life are a hostile man's pretension." This proves to be very true for F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby". The novel is about Gatsby, but like any other novel, it also has themes. A theme is the main idea that a literature is based on. In this novel, the most important theme is based on dreams. In particular, the dream is the "American Dream." In "The Great Gatsby", not only is the main character, Gatsby, a great dreamer but so are the other characters. This is understandable because as quoted by Arthur Miller, the "American Dream" is the "unacknowledged screen in front of which all American writing plays itself out." According to the dream, everyone in American has the opportunity - if they work hard and are determined - to reach any goal they strive for. ...read more.

Middle

Because the American Dream is corrupt when Gatsby eventually reaches his dream, the result leads only to disappointment and eventual death. Another main character Fitzgerald uses for the theme of dreams and the "American Dream" is Daisy. Daisy does have a dream. Daisy wants love but can't get it and doesn't choose it because she fears losing the wealth and popularity she loves and has with Tom. She knows that Tom has affairs and it makes her sad and insecure but she ignores it. She has her chance to acquire her dream when Gatsby comes along and gives her a chance to love and be loved, but her dream of keeping the rich lifestyle stops her from expressing her love for Gatsby openly and she leaves Gatsby who is tragically murdered because of her and her husband. Daisy is like her husband, Tom, but she has a meaningful dream and could've had it she but was too afraid to because of the corruptness of the "American Dream" that believed everything was about money. Two other themes in "The Great Gatsby" are time and honesty and though they are the less important themes in the novel, they connect to the theme of the "American Dream". Gatsby's dream is in itself partially destroyed because Gatsby does not accept that the past is gone. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is engaged in illegal activities and lies shamelessly about his past but when it comes to his dream he is honest and it is the people and world around him that are corrupt. When Nick comments on Daisy and Tom who are responsible for his death, he says, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made...." (Fitzgerald, S. 170). Considering that Nick sees the end conflict of the story he is telling being the, "incorruptible dream and the foul dust that flouted in its wake" and his last comment to Gatsby before his death, "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together" (Fitzgerald, S. 146), it makes perfect sense. It is safe to conclude that in "The Great Gatsby", the main theme is about dreams, particularly the "American Dream." Even so, it proves to be more important than the theme of time and honesty, which are merely connections to the original and main theme. As mentioned and explained in the essay, the "American Dream" as the main theme is not a surprising decision as it accomplishes what was mentioned at the before: the "American Dream" once again became the "unacknowledged screen in front of which all American writing plays itself out. ...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. Peer reviewed

    "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back, ceaselessly into the past". ...

    4 star(s)

    However, like all the other dreams of the characters in the novel, once this dream is achieved it is corrupted. The corrupted version of this dream becomes the modern American dream, which is travelled west to east - as Tom, Daisy and Nick have, in search of no longer land, but money and material goods.

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    To show to us that he is worth something and that he has managed great things. He is not an arrogant man like Tom and he is not un-likeable to the reader who, has been let into his web of lies.

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

    For Gatsby, his dream is very easily realized, to a certain extent, by virtue of his immense ambition and idealism. As described by Nick in the novel, Gatsby has an "extraordinary gift for hope", which has never been found in any other person: If personality is an unbroken series of

  2. The great Gatsby:The Wasteland of the 1920's

    The narrator describes how five crates of oranges and lemons arrive from New York on Fridays and by Mondays all that remains are "a pyramid of pulpless halves" left to rot outside after the butler had extracted the juice. Inside, there are sumptuous buffet tables "garnished with glistening hors d'oeuvres,

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

    Gatsby claims to others that he has inherited his wealth, but Nick discovers that "his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people." Gatsby has entered a world where money takes precedence over moral integrity. Once this idea is set in, members of high social classes focus on immediate indulgences, rather than long term pleasures of life such as love.

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

    They live with a different version of the American Dream than that which I have so far shown in Gatsby, though the materialistic side of the dream is also in him, in fact it is the reason James Gatz became Jay Gatsby.

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

    Daisy is very much taken for granted by Tom and he often treats her more like a possession than a person, which he only realises when there is the threat of her leaving him and he admits 'once in a while I go off on a spree and make a

  2. The Corruption of The American Dream.

    By this we know that Daisy's concern, and maybe only concern, is money. Gatsby realizes this and is motivated by it. He's driven to extensive and sometimes illegal actions to gain acceptance and feels he must be rich and careless.

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