The Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby and The American Dream

"Throughout American history the idea of progress had persisted as a national destiny and a personal dream." In this way Ruth Sidel, author of On Her Own, simply defines "The American Dream." Throughout the novel, The Great Gatsby, the main character, Jay Gatsby, relentlessly strives to achieve this surreal and unattainable dream. The "American Dream," is full of hope that the past can be left behind and that a new world can be born. Stories of "rags-to-riches" provide optimism, and are a favorite among the young and aspiring. The American dream involves acquiring material wealth, cars, and admiration of others. In the dream, prosperity will bring happiness, fulfillment, and power.

For the most part, Gatsby has already achieved the majority of a classic "American Dream" when the novel starts. The only thing he lacks is the warmth of a wife who loves him and adoring children to come home to. The American dream includes both financial success and a cozy hearth at home. In spite of his success, Gatsbys one true desire, the attainment of Daisy Buchanan, has not yet been fulfilled. Aware of this major shortcoming, Gatsby becomes recklessly obsessed and single-mindedly determined to acquire that which he naively hopes all his money will buy him. Those obsessed with money and power are often oblivious to the reality that money can buy companionship, but it cant buy love. He becomes willing to sacrifice anything in hopes of conquering the one thing which he cannot have.

Gatsbys obsession begins to drive him akjdfhksmdhfsdkjhway from reality as Daisy becomes more and more a desire of his greedy heart. Gatsbys "love" is not focused on what he can give to Daisy, but on how he can make her one of his possessions. As the novel progresses, Gatsby seems to realize that his idea and pursuit of Daisy is more rewarding than the actual attainment of her. Just as reading a good book is better than watching the movie version of it, it is...