The American Dream In The Great Gatsby

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Francis Scott Fitzgerald lived the luxurious life of the roaring ‘20s; however, by the end, his life was controlled by drinking and his beloved wife had descended into insanity. Fitzgerald never quite fulfilled his American dream. Fitzgerald’s main character, Jay Gatsby, mimics the path of his own successes and failures. Although Fitzgerald clearly defines the American Dream as a lifestyle of luxury, love, and void of responsibility, the subliminal message of the novel is that perfection, such as the American dream, is unattainable; however, striving for the impossibility of perfection is imperative if one hopes to secure contentment in their life. What is the American dream? Out of all of the characters in the novel, it would seem that Jay Gatsby has come the closest to achieving American dream. Jay Gatsby resides in a house, more accurately described as a mansion, that is “a colossal affair by any standard...spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden.” (Fitzgerald 5). His life of grandeur and his enormous estate are often composed of extravagant parties. “There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” (Fitzgerald 39). His party guests consist of those residing in the West Egg. Their fortunes are built upon new money. Unlike the sophisticated residents of the East
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