“The Great Gatsby” is an extended critique of the American Dream. Furthermore, it is made all the more viable for being represented by the people who seek that fantasy. For a fantasy is exactly all it is. Nobody truly achieves the satisfaction, as much as they attempt. “The Great Gatsby” shows what happened to the American Dream in the 1920’s.
Fitzgerald suggests that the dream causes corruption as well as devastation. The story illustrates how moneys prompts corruption by setting materialistic esteems in the lives of American’s in the pursuit of the American dream. Fitzgerald suggests that the people who pursue the American dream are corrupted. He conveys this idea through characters themselves in the Great Gatsby. For instance, Gatsby feels the need to change his name in the pursuit of the dream. Daisy and Tom are both so fixated on their rich lifestyle and appearance that they are careless of how their actions affect others and their marriage becomes built upon lies. Fitzgerald also alludes that even the dream itself has been corrupted by materialism. It is no longer a vision of building a prosperous and happy life; it’s just about becoming wealthy and the lifestyle of the wealth.
The first time Jay Gatsby is introduced, he is yearning towards something too far away, something in sight but too far to reach. “But I didn’t call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone–he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock,” (1.152). The fact that this longing picture is the first experience with Gatsby anticipates his unhappy end and furthermore marks him as a dreamer, as opposed to individuals like Tom or Daisy who were born into wealth and don’t have to reach for anything so distant. The green light becomes the symbol for the American dream.
Gatsby’s not-as-much-well-off past, which not just influences him to resemble the star of a rags-to-riches story, influences Gatsby himself to appear like someone in quest of the American Dream, and for him the exemplification of that dream is Daisy. He would host party after party in hopes that one day Daisy would attend and be astounded at what he had become. He purchased the majority of his assets not for himself, but instead to awe others of what he was worth.
Gatsby realized that Daisy’s essential in life was money. She was so lost in money and materialism that it was more important to her than true love. This influenced Gatsby to be in the fantasy of the sky is the limit when you have money.
Once accomplishing riches, his solitary purpose of living was to impress and charm the shallow Daisy. Although Gatsby reaches the “American Dream” of wealth, he did not obtain Daisy’s love, which was the one thing he longed for the most. Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” reflects on The American Dream – the possibility that individuals are continually reaching towards something that is more noteworthy than themselves that is simply distant. “The Great Gatsby” strikingly outlines how the American dream demonstrates the corruption of America.
Daisy represents the accomplishment of the American dream in the eyes of Gatsby. Gatsby fixates on turning into a well-off man who Daisy deserves. Indeed, even with all the riches and status they accomplished, neither are happy. The American dream is grand motivation for achieving one’s goals and accomplishments, however when spoiled with riches, as demonstrated in “The Great Gatsby”, the dream becomes plainly corrupted and hollow.