The Great Gatsby Rhetorical Analysis

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Amber Baskett Mrs. Vincent AP Lang/ Comp (6) 29 October 2013 “The Seemingly “Great” Gatsby” The American Dream is not what it seems. In the 1920’s, the American Dream was nothing but an idea of materialistic wealth and objective pleasures. The desire for the American Dream represented the demise of America, where hard work and good ethics were abandoned for wealth and the good life. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a self-made man who started out with no money— only a plan for achieving is dream. He is so blinded by his luxurious possessions that he does not see that money cannot buy love or happiness. The author argues that the common, and false, perception of the American Dream is that wealth, happiness, and a trouble-free life go hand-in-hand. However, through diction, foreshadowing, and irony, Fitzgerald demonstrates how a dream can become corrupted by one’s focus on acquiring wealth, power, and love. From the very beginning of the novel, Fitzgerald creates the illusion in Gatsby’s mind that wealth automatically generates happiness. When Fitzgerald envisions, “however glorious might be his future… he was at present a penniless young man without a past…” (149). Gatsby’s future may be fancy and “glorious,” but at the current point in the novel, Fitzgerald’s description of Gatsby as “penniless” implies that he is currently poor and depressed. The illusion that wealth brings happiness consumes him, causing Gatsby’s desire for wealth to overshadow all other aspects of his life, including his family. Later on in the novel, during the flashback to when Gatsby and Daisy first meet, Fitzgerald describes Daisy’s house which “had always seemed to him more mysterious and gay than other houses, so his idea of the city itself… pervaded with a melancholy beauty” (152). Fitzgerald compares Gatsby’s desire for a warm home to the depressing

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