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The Great Gatsby-The American Dream

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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.


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.


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.

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