Great Gatsby And The American Dream

2843 words - 12 pages

The ‘American Dream’ has existed since the funding of the United States. Typically, the dreamer chooses to rise from being poor to being wealthy, while accumulating things such as love, status, wealth, and power. The dream has grown through the years and time periods, even though it was based on freedom, self-reliance and the desire to be something greater. In the past the dream was for someone to go out west for land and to start a family. It has turned into a very materialistic vision of a big house, nice car, and living the easy life. As represented in the novel The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby, the American Dream was more focused on instant gratification of ...view middle of the document...

Still he was a good man with a big heart. The last time Nick saw Gatsby alive, he told him, “They’re a rotten crowd….. You’re worth the whole damn bunch but together” (Fitzgerald 154).
Gatsby’s romantic view of life may have contributed to his inability to achieve his dream. As Changizi and Ghasem stated, “All he can see is his dream of wealth and influence, all he can show for himself is wealth” (63). Although Gatsby had made a fortune through racketeering and conducting suspicious business deals, his heart seemed to have been untouched by the moral evil that surrounded him. His actions were influenced by his feelings for Daisy. Bewley’s states, “For Gatsby, Daisy does not exist in herself. She is the green light of his ultimate vision” (274). Gatsby’s motivation came from the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, whom he knew in his days in the military. Daisy’s parents considered Gatsby to be an unsuitable match, because he did not come from a good background and because he had very little money. Nick Caraway, the narrator sees daisy as the “Golden Girl” and the rich beauty.
Part of gratification comes from ones desire. Gatsby’s idealism is so profound that he has an affair with Daisy, even though she is married to another man. He assumed that his ultimate vision would be realized and that he would become. In so doing, he felt that Daisy would say that she never loved her husband, Tom. Bloom describes Gatsby’s illusion of his reality, “Gatsby is not okay with repeating history “, often disillusioned, but never crushed…..Jay Gatsby has the extraordinary gift of hope” (Bloom 78). Daisy had been Gatsby’s obsession. “She was the reason that he woke up in the morning, and his romanticism would not allow him to separate illusion from reality. He was still in love with the Daisy he met five years earlier, and he was determined to live a fairy tale life where money was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jungle of it, the cymbals song in it”(Fitzgerald 127). In Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Nick asks Daisy to come to his house for tea. Gatsby then comes over the day before and has his staff fix up the house and brings hundreds of flowers to put in the house. When Daisy, comes he goes out the back and returns through front door as if he just arrived. This also shows his love and obsession for Daisy by going to extremes just to have a few minutes with Daisy.
The failure of the American Dream comes when Gatsby’s lapse in judgment was not realizing that Daisy could only represent both material success and the corruption and downfall that wealth can bring you. Although she appeared to be sweet and dainty, she was very self-absorbed and cold hearted. Daisy was a very careless person. She let Gatsby take the blame for the unintentional vehicular manslaughter of Myrtle Wilson. Daisy’s reckless behavior resulted in Gatsby’s death. She showed no real remorse for her actions. She commited adultery, but she had no intention of leaving her...

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