The Great Gatsby The American Dream By Alan Conroy
Originally the Dutch settlers saw America as the land of opportunity, where they could start a new life with family values and a moral lifestyle based on religion. • However these core values were lost when the ‘pursuit of happiness’ turned into the pursuit of wealth. • People began to believe that money was the most important thing and as a result all morals decayed.
In the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ people are obsessed with wealth. Easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted the ‘American Dream’ especially on the East coast.Gatsby embodies the ‘dream’ by becoming super rich in order to win the heart of Daisy: Daisy is a hollow fickle unworthy object of Gatsby’s efforts.He believes that she will only be interested in him if he has money.This emphasises how materialistic 1920’s America has become.
Gatsby is the American Dream personified:‘The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his platonic conception of himself’This quotation shows that people who have nothing more than a dream can become rich and have a good life in America.Also it reveals that God has become redundant because men can now create themselves. If there is no God there is no reason to act morally.
‘For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing.’ • This quotation is linked to Gatsby as his dream is founded upon a hollow woman. His dream to be with Daisy inevitably collapses as it is founded upon nothing.
Nick’s dream • Nick moved to the east coast in search of a luxurious lifestyle amongst the mega rich. However by the end of the novel he realises that he misses the family values of the small town west culture. • ‘That’s my Middle West…the thrilling returning trains of my youth’ • The west is full of memories and he wants to go back there.