The Ineptitude of the American Dream
The American dream has barely changed over the past century. The American dream has not changed because the people have not changed. The American dream represents a theory that many people follow. They believe in this theory and incorporate it within their lives. Most believe that one must become wealthy in order to meet success. The American dream is close to becoming reality because people have brought it so far. Nick Carraway, the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgeralds novel, The Great Gatsby, analyzes the legitimacy of this principle through the inevitable downfall of Jay Gatsby. The novel takes place during the "roaring twenties" in two affluent Long Island neighborhoods. The people in these neighborhoods characterize the superficiality and arrogance that distorts the American dream. Fitzgerald utilizes this environment and its people to examine the negative attributes of the American dream.
Fitzgerald portrays two neighborhoods, East Egg and West Egg, to display the slowly evolving corruption of the American dream. East Egg houses old money sophisticates, while West Egg accommodates the less fashionable new money types. The apparent differences cause the two neighborhoods to develop an apparent competition. The different neighborhoods are connected through the characters becoming entangled with each other. Both Carraway and his wealthy yet mysterious neighbor, Jay Gatsby, live in West Egg. Carraway lives in a modest small house, which is overshadowed by Gatsbys extravagant estate. In his magnificent manor, Gatsby indulges in an excessive and exaggerated lifestyle including many lavish parties. "In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars" (43). Gatsby considers his abnormal wealth and stature to be the means to regain his one true love, Daisy Buchanan. Daisys atmosphere of wealth and privilege attract Gatsbys
attention and gradual obsession. Gatsby realizes that his own capacity for hope made Daisy seem ideal to him. He does not realize that he is pursuing an image that has no true, lasting value. This realization would have made the world look entirely different to Gatsby, like a new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about" (169). Daisy and her unfaithful husband Tom live in a large East Egg mansion directly across from Gatsbys estate. Gatsby longs for Daisys love, but never seems ...