Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism Of The American Dream



The American Dream, as it arose in the Colonial period and developed in the
nineteenth century, was based on the assumption that each person, no matter what
his origins, could succeed in life on the sole basis of his or her own skill and
effort. The dream was embodied in the ideal of the self-made man, just as it was
embodied in Fitzgerald's own family by his grandfather, P. F. McQuillan.
Fitzgerald's novel takes its place among other novels whose insights into the
nature of the American dream have not affected the artistic form of the novel
itself. The Great Gatsby serves as Fitzgerald's critique of the American dream.
The Great Gatsby embodies a criticism of America and the ...

Want to read the rest of this paper?
Join Essayworld today to view this entire essay
and over 50,000 other term papers

enormous mansion before he can feel confident enough to
try to win Daisy. Fitzgerald does not criticize the American dream itself but
the corruption of that dream. What was once for Ben Franklin or Thomas
Jefferson a belief in self-reliance and hard work has become what Nick Carraway
calls " . . . the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty." The
energy that might have gone into the pursuit of noble goals has been channeled
into the pursuit of power and pleasure, and a very showy, but fundamentally
empty form of success.
Fitzgerald's critique of the American dream is developed through certain
dominant images and symbols. Fitzgerald uses the green light as a symbol of
hope, money, and jealousy. Hope signifies the center of the dream, but jealousy
and lure of money pollute it. Gatsby is a noble man whose vision is fouled by
his dream because he remains in a "wonder" at Daisy's presence throughout the
novel. He is unable to see the carelessness and self-centeredness ...

Get instant access to over 50,000 essays.
Write better papers. Get better grades.


Already a member? Login


CITE THIS PAGE:

Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism Of The American Dream. (2004, April 18). Retrieved September 22, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Great-Gatsby-Fitzgeralds-Criticism-American-Dream/6423
"Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism Of The American Dream." Essayworld.com. Essayworld.com, 18 Apr. 2004. Web. 22 Sep. 2018. <http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Great-Gatsby-Fitzgeralds-Criticism-American-Dream/6423>
"Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism Of The American Dream." Essayworld.com. April 18, 2004. Accessed September 22, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Great-Gatsby-Fitzgeralds-Criticism-American-Dream/6423.
"Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald's Criticism Of The American Dream." Essayworld.com. April 18, 2004. Accessed September 22, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Great-Gatsby-Fitzgeralds-Criticism-American-Dream/6423.
JOIN NOW
Join today and get instant access to this and 50,000+ other essays


PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/18/2004 05:47:46 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 507
Pages: 2

Save | Report

SHARE THIS PAPER

SAVED ESSAYS
Save and find your favorite essays easier

SIMILAR ESSAYS
Gatsby's Pursuit Of The America...
Gatsby's Pursuit Of The America...
The Great Gatsby: Depravation O...
The Great Gatsby: Characters Sh...
The Great Gatsby And The Americ...
The Great Gatsby: America's Era...
The Great Gatsby: Death Of The ...
Great Gatsby and the Corruption...
Interpretation of the American ...
F. Scott Fitzgerald And The Pur...
Copyright | Cancel | Contact Us

Copyright © 2018 Essayworld. All rights reserved