Get help from the best in academic writing.

Jay Gatsby’s Dangerous Illusions in The Great Gatsby

Jay’s Dangerous Illusions in The Great Gatsby

America is a land of opportunity and hopes and dreams can become reality. The “American Dream” consists of the notion that the struggling poor can achieve financial success through hard work. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, puts this premise to the test while also warning against the dangers of believing too passionately in any dream. The central character, Jay Gatsby, “proves a tragic hero who succeeds financially but fails emotionally when he attempts to hold onto something from the past”(Mizener 126). Gatsby not only possesses imaginative dreams, but also idealistic illusions. These illusions eventually result in the unfortunate downfall of Jay Gatsby.

In Fitzgerald’s novel, Jay Gatsby’s past, the time in which he is emotionally bound, is crucial to the understanding of his premature death. In 1917, just prior to his entrance into World War I, young Gatsby falls in love with the beautiful, affluent Daisy Fay. They have the type of love that is written about in fairy tales: “…He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God…At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete” (Fitzgerald 117). Jordan Baker, a good friend of Daisy’s, also describes their previous love as unique when she says: “[Gatsby] looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime” (Fitzgerald 80). Circumstances caused Jay and Daisy to be separated, and when he returned from war, he was faced with the news that she had married another man. Nevertheless, Gatsby’s flaw is hold…

… middle of paper …

Fielder, Leslie. “Some Notes on F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Mizener 70-76.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon

The Great Gatsby: The Morally Corrupt American Dream

Exposing the Morally Corrupt American Dream

The 1920’s were a decade of renaissance characterized by the establishment of the “American Dream” — the belief that anyone can, and should, achieve material success. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, The Great Gatsby, contains themes and morals that continue to be relevant today. In his novel, Fitzgerald criticizes the American Dream by describing its negative characteristics: class struggles between the rich and the poor, the superficiality of the rich, and the false relationship between money and happiness. Furthermore, the main character also serves as a metaphor for the inevitable downfall of American Dream.

“The Great Gatsby … describes the failure of the American dream, from the point of view that American political ideals conflict with the actual social conditions that exist. For whereas American democracy is based on the idea of equality among people, the truth is that social discrimination still exists and the divisions among the classes cannot be overcome” (Internet 1). It is impossible for all people to become rich, since material wealth is based largely on social position, and class divisions prevent the poor from becoming successful. “One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer / The rich get richer and the poor get — children” (Fitzgerald 101). Myrtle’s attempt to break into the group to which the Buchanans belong is doomed to fail. She enters into an affair with Tom, and takes on all the negative qualities of his social group; she not only becomes corrupt and immoral, but she scorns people from her own class. “I thought he knew something about breeding but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe” (Fitzgerald 39). The adulterous behaviour of Myrtle and Tom,…

… middle of paper …

…he American Dream of success and money is nothing more than a morally corrupt fantasy.

Works Cited

Fahey, William A. F. Scott Fitzgerald and The American Dream. Toronto: Fitzhenry

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.