The Death of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

Essay by Steph17888High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

download word file, 9 pages 3.5

Ms. Ogarek

Honors English

Period 5

May 5, 2005

The Death of the American Dream

Webster's Dictionary defines the American dream as an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity. This dream started as our country started. Our founding fathers had a dream of an America with equal opportunities. This dream was interpreted by those in Europe as an easy way to make money and a good way of life. Immigrants came to the United States of America in search of fulfilling the American dream they had heard of in their homeland. As America progressed the dream began to decay and lose it's possibly of becoming true for those who wanted it. The novel The Great Gatsby portrays the eventual death of the American dream. The Great Gatsby consistently presented the symbolic death of the American dream.

Jay Gatsby symbolized the American dream. His entire life revolved around self improvement.

At Jay Gatsby's funeral his father revealed an old book of Gatsby's he had come across by accident. It read "Schedule." The book contained plans for the day and how he would eventually get ahead. Many of the plans were similar to those of the sayings in Poor Richard's Almanac. One of America's greatest, Benjamin Franklin, wrote Poor Richard's Almanac as a "how-to" on success. Jay Gatsby believed that his plan would eventually work therefore fulfilling all of his dreams. Gatsby's father let the reader see Gatsby's competitive drive and that his continuous work ethics existed all of Gatsby's life. His father described Gatsby, "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind? He was always great for that" (Fitzgerald 182). At age seventeen Gatsby changed his name. To Gatsby...

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