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The Great Gatsby Essay Example: Symbolism and American Dream

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❶She has a child, who does not seem important to her at all.

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Symbolism and the American Dream in The Great Gatsby


By having money, a car, a big house, nice clothes and a happy family symbolizes the American dream. This dream also represents that people, no matter who he or she is, can become successful in life by his or her own work. The desire to strive for what one wants can be accomplished if they work hard enough.

The dream is represented by the ideas of a self-sufficient man or woman, who works hard to achieve a goal to become successful. The American dream not only causes corruption but has caused destruction. Myrtle, Gatsby and Daisy have all been corrupted and destroyed by the dream. The desire for a luxurious life is what lures Myrtle into having an affair with Tom. This decision harms her marriage with George, which leads to her death and loss of true happiness.

Myrtle has the hope and desire for a perfect, wealthy and famous type life. When Myrtle first got married to George Wilson, she thought that she was crazy about him and thought that they were happy being together. I knew right away I made a mistake. She looks at Tom in a different way. She looks at him as someone who can afford to buy their own suit for their own wedding.

She believes that Tom is the ideal picture perfect man that represents the advertisement of the American Dream. Myrtle sleeps with Tom to inch her way to an upper class status. People who are upper class are the ones that have money, drive fancy cars, and have nice, big houses.

This later on causes destruction, and destroys Myrtle. It was later found that Daisy was the one that hit Myrtle with her car which resulted in the death of Myrtle. It is ironic that Daisy was the one that killed her, since Myrtle was having an affair with her husband, Tom. This shows how the desire for a luxurious life and having the American dream, only caused destruction in this novel and destroyed someone life.

The hope for happiness is something that Daisy hoped to have, but by finding out she married the wrong man changed who she is and her over outlook on life. Early on in the novel, Daisy finds out a secret that Tom is hiding from her. But what about the other major characters, especially the ones born with money? What is their relationship to the American Dream? Perhaps because of this, they seem to directly antagonize the dream — Daisy by refusing Gatsby, and Tom by helping to drag the Wilsons into tragedy.

In other words, income inequality and the vastly different starts in life the characters have strongly affected their outcomes. This, of course, is tragic and antithetical to the idea of the American Dream, which claims that class should be irrelevant and anyone can rise to the top. 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. Our writers are knowledgeable in virtually all subject areas and will process your assignment as fast as possible to beat the deadlines. We have an exceptional team of proficient writers with a vast experience in writing quality academic essays.

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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 the novel The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald.

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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 American Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a brilliant illustration of life among the new rich during the s, people who had recently amassed a great deal of . 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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In the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the mysterious Jay Gatsby, had a similar fantasy dream. But, in theory, Jay Gatsby is just as far as any other person in their progress towards their true American Dream. Jay Gatsby, whose dream included of being with the girl of his dream, and being filthy rich. American Dream Great Gatsby Essay essays The American Dream was the philosophy that brought people to America and to start a new life in a strange, foreign land. Due to this dream, it was believed that America was the land of .