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Death of a Dream in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Gatsby and the Death of a Dream

In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald creates the roaring twenties by showing the division of society. The Buchanans live on one side, East Egg, and Jay Gatsby lives on the other side, West Egg. The Buchanans belong to the socialites, yet their lives have no meaning. Gatsby tries to chase the American Dream, yet his idea is tarnished. He throws parties to try and fit in with the socialites. Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream is doomed because he tries to buy his way into a society that will never accept him.

Gatsby gets his idea of how to achieve the American Dream from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography (Franklin 332) In Chapter nine, Mr. Wolfshiem shows Nick an old book of Gatsby’s which has a daily schedule in the back of it. Gatsby thought he could improve himself if he would “practice elocution, poise and how to attain it; read one improving book or magazine per week; and be better to parents.” By planning out every minute of his day, he could attain the wealth that would win the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan.

Gatsby is a part of West Egg society. West Eggers are the newly rich; the people who have worked hard and earned their money in a short period of time. Their wealth is based on material possessions. Gatsby lacks the traditions of the West Eggers. “Americans easily assumed that spiritual satisfaction would automatically accompany material success.” (Trask 213) Gatsby believed he could win Daisy by the possessions he owned. The first time Daisy comes to his house, the thing that Gatsby tries to impress her with is his shirts; “shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple green and lavender and faint orange . . . “…

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…ritics, The Background. Ed. Henry D. Piper. Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York: 1970.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Simon and Schuster Inc., New York: 1991.

Franklin, Benjamin. “The Autobiography,” The Writings of Benjamin Franklin.” Vol. I. Ed. Albert H. Smith. The Macmillan Company, London: 1985.

Hooper, Osman C. “Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’,” The Critical Reputation of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Article A353. Ed. Jackson Bryer. Archon Books, Maryland: 1967.

Samuels, Charles T. “The Greatness of ‘Gatsby’.” Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: The Novel, The Critics, The Background. Ed. Henry D. Piper. Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York: 1970.

Trask, David F. “The End of the American Dream,” Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: The Novel, The Critics, The Background. Ed. Henry D. Piper. Charles Schribner’s Sons, New York: 1970.

The Degradation of Women in American Scholar

The Degradation of Women in American Scholar

In “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson characterizes the nature of the American scholar in three categories: nature, books, and action. The scholar is one who nature mystifies, because one must be engrossed with nature before he can appreciate it. In nature, man learns to tie things together; trees sprout from roots, leaves grow on trees, and so on. Man learns how to classify the things in nature, which simplifies things in his mind (section I).

Books, to the scholar, should only be used as a link to gathering information about the past. For these books do not give a definite factual account of the past; they provide information for man to form his own opinions. These books were written by men who already had formulated ideas in their heads spawned by other books. Man must look to these books for inspiration in creating his own thoughts. He must use all the possible resources available to get every side and every opinion out there. When man creates his own thoughts, using every source to aid h…

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