The American Dream in "The Great Gatsby" Book Review by Nicky

The American Dream in "The Great Gatsby"
An analysis of rise and fall of the American dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby".
# 147911 | 851 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Aug 10, 2011 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper discusses how F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, "The Great Gatsby" captures a slice of American life that reveals the dangers of excess and how, while the novel covers the hope and expanse of the American dream, many would also agree that the novel is about the decline of the American Dream. It looks at how although Jay Gatsby is the epitome of the self-made man he allows his dream to become clouded by a growing sense of desire that is far beyond his reach. Through characterization, Fitzgerald demonstrates how destructive materialism, excess, and desire can not only ruin the American Dream but a man's life.

From the Paper:

"The tragedy of The Great Gatsby is that Gatsby actually does achieve his dream, but it slips away from him when he allows himself to be sidetracked with his infatuation with Daisy. Thomas Inge maintains that the novel "deals symbolically with the failure of the American dream of success" (Inge) by concentrating on possibilities arising from "rags to riches through industry, ambition, self-reliance, honesty, and temperance" (Inge). There is nothing wrong with wanting to have the best and working hard for it but Gatsby allows his dream to become entwined with the myth of obtaining Daisy's love. Inge believes that the myth of Daisy's love "lies the genesis of what impels Gatsby" (Inge). It is a passion strong enough to compel him to achieve great things but not what he wants."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bloom, Harold, ed. "Bloom on The Great Gatsby." The Great Gatsby, Bloom's Guides. 2006. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. Information Retrieved April 12, 2009. <>
  • Donaldson, Scott. "Possessions in The Great Gatsby. Southern Review. 2001. EBSCO Resource Database. Site Accessed April 12, 2009. < >
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Bantam Books. New York. 1974.
  • Fraser, John. "Dust and Dreams in the Great Gatsby." ELH. 1965. JSTOR Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 12, 2009. <>
  • Hermanson, Casie . An overview of The Great Gatsby. Exploring Novels. 1998. GALE Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 12, 2009.

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