The American Dream

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a timeless classic portraying lost love, broken worlds, and shattered dreams. In the novel, Fitzgerald captures the party in which America had become lost during a decade of careless living. Love is perhaps the greatest recurring theme throughout. The deeper meaning of the novel, however, portrays the pivotal points of the American dream.

The story takes place during the summer of 1922. The narrator, a young man named Nick Carraway, travels to New York to sell bonds. Nick lives in a small cottage on Long Island just across the bay from his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom. Next door to Nick’s cottage is a mansion where a mysterious man lives and hosts extravagant parties. Soon, Nick finds himself caught in a years’ old romance involving Daisy and the mysterious man who, as the novel unfolds, comes to be known as Jay Gatsby.

But complexities, anger, and jealousy emerge from the twisted love triangle that forms between the characters. Friendships and marriages are destroyed. False identities are revealed. True love and ‘happily ever after’ become unrealistic in the tragic lives of Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby.

During the 20s, America was fabulously wealthy, but terribly irresponsible. In comparison to the novel, Daisy had great wealth like America, and yet most of it wasn’t appreciated or acknowledged. The book itself represents the American dream. Like Gatsby, we all want love and wealth and prefer things to be as they once were. But even Gatsby is an illusion. He longed for an enchanted life and dreamed up the person he wanted to become. Thus, Jay Gatsby was envisioned by a poor man with ambitious dreams. Yet, as Fitzgerald may have felt, there is a little bit of Gatsby inside us all. We all dream up something enchanting we want for ourselves. It seems as if we strive for everything we picture in our minds. But, along the way, we become blinded. We all are in love with a time when things felt perfect. Reality sometimes shines so brightly that we are unable to see it.

The Great Gatsby holds a deep symbolic view that touches upon life, love, and wealth. The world was a party that everyone loved being “in love” with; then, before time, everything crashed and shattered, much like Gatsby’s life. The Great Gatsby reminds us that we cannot change the past or who we really are, but encourages us to pursue anything we dream about.

This article was written by McKenna Vietti, a writer for dusk magazine.

About mckennajanev (16 Articles)
Student, pursuing a journalism career, and dreaming about traveling the world; servant for Christ. Aside from writing I love literature, films, the theater, and my Rottweiler, Raider. :)

2 Comments on The American Dream

  1. i was waiting for the Norman Mailer reference here.


  2. sorry, guess i mis-read the title!


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