The Great Gatsby, and The American Dream

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The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, is usually referred to as a thwarted love between a man and a women. Yet, this is just scratching the surface of this novel. The main theme however includes a much greater range of ideas. This book takes place in the summer months of 1922, and is set in a confined area in Long Island, New York. And although Gatsby’s profound love for Daisy, told through the eyes of the narrator, Nick, is a major subject in The Great Gatsby, it is merely a subscript to the main theme carried throughout the entire book. This book focuses on the idea of the American Dream, but even more so, Fitzgerald uses Gatsby as a way to critique the American Dream. First of all, it is important to understand what the American Dream is. The American Dream says that anyone can succeed in life. Anyone who works hard, and pursues the ultimate goal of happiness, can, and will, live a fulfilling life. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald uses the character of Gatsby to critique the idea of the American Dream. He uses Gatsby because, although he is an example of the American Dream, in the way that he went from rags to riches, he also contradicts the American Dream. He got to where he was because of illegal actions, not hard honest work. And yet there are people in the world, represented by Wilson in this book, that do work hard, honest jobs, yet they still suffer. Fitzgerald seems to encourage the reader to understand that not everyone could live the American Dream, as the American Dream is based on living a more successful life than the next person, if everyone was living the American Dream the American Dream itself would not exist, thus, the American Dream is not flawless. Someone must suffer in order for another to be successful. In The Great Gatsby Wilson, a man who works hard everyday to make ends meat, he suffers in order to allow Tom to live
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