Examples Of Pursuing The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby And The Perils of Pursuing The American Dream The American Dream is "the dream of a place in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone with opportunity for everybody according to ability and performance," in the words of author James Truslow Adams. The concept of the "American Dream" has been embedded in American history and culture for a long time. It is the notion that, regardless of background or social standing, anyone can succeed and prosper through perseverance and hard work. As a result, many Americans have been motivated to work toward a better life by this concept throughout history. Nonetheless, there has been discussion and criticism around the American Dream, with some contending that it is …show more content…

Fitzgerald evokes simile to imply that the American Dream is enticing yet also fleeting. In Chapter 3, when Nick is describing Gatsby’s parties, he declares, “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars”(39). Fitzgerald compares the guests at Gatsby’s parties to moths to convey the ephemeral yet alluring nature of the American Dream. This simile makes the reader feel a sense of transience in the pursuit of this ideal. Fitzgerald uses colloquialism to further prove his point. Gatsby's illicit activities are revealed to Nick and Daisy by Tom in Chapter 7, who claims, “‘He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong”(133). The colloquialism provided connotes the illicit nature of Gatsby’s activities, revealing the dark underbelly of his quest for power and fortune. This colloquialism makes the reader feel uneasy as they witness the moral ramifications of Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth and status. This effect supports Fitzgerald’s argument that, as demonstrated by Jay Gatsby, the pursuit of wealth and rank can lead to …show more content…

Fitzgerald emphasizes the futility and moral corruption of Jay Gatsby's pursuit of fortune, prestige, and love through the use of symbolism, metaphor, simile, and colloquialism. This finally results in his tragic failure, demonstrating the allure and impossibility of the American Dream. The main lessons to be learned from Fitzgerald’s novel are that the pursuit of the American Dream can result in moral degradation and disillusionment, and that this ideal is wrongfully pitched to Americans who want to live a life of prosperity. However, it is crucial to remember that the American Dream is a target to fight toward with grit and dedication rather than a promise of success and prosperity. In the end, what can be gleaned from The Great Gatsby is that the pursuit of an ideal can have both positive and negative repercussions, and that it is up to individuals to assess the true worth of their goals and

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