The American Dream in The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by bonecrusherHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.6

Downloaded 100 times

Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby symbolizes the American dream. The American dream offers faith in the possibility of a better life. Its intention is the belief that material wealth alone can bring that dream to reality. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald brings together both these ideas. Jay Gatsby thinks money is the answer to anything he encounters. He has the best of everything. The fanciest car, the largest house, and the finest clothes. Jay has everything except the object he most desires, Daisy. Gatsby believes he can win Daisy over with wealth, that he could achieve her love through his material possessions.

In America, the car is one of the greatest status symbols. Gatsby's gorgeous machine is one of the most expensive cars created. Nick's comments on the vehicle describe its luster, "...and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes...Sitting

down behind many layers of glass in a sort of leather conservatory we started towards town"(68). The use of the symbolic automobile can be seen as a demonstration of how an ideal based on materialism alone can be destructive. This is the fatal car which kills Myrtle Wilson and indirectly leads to Gatsby's death.

Appearance is another important factor toward Gatsby's dream. In his quest to win Daisy's heart Gatsby chooses to wear his best outfit. "...the front door opened nervously and Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold colored tie hurried in"(89). Silver and gold are the colors of wealth as many of the other items he owns. Gatsby's shirts are more then just garments towards Gatsby. They are some of the many fantastic objects he possesses that were created by money. These shirts contribute towards Gatsby's vision of the American dream, that his money...