Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”: The Concept of the American Dream

Primary Source

Fitzgerald, F. S. The Great Gatsby. Penguin Classics, 2021.

Secondary Source

Churchwell, Sarah. “The Great Gatsby and the American Dream.” The Guardian, Web.

Sarah Churchwell’s article discusses Scott Fitzgerald’s ideas of the American dream. The article explains how modern economists have developed the concept of “The Great Gatsby Curve” that is used to measure fiscal inequality versus social mobility. However “The Great Gatsby Curve” does not necessarily talk about the achievement of the American dream but its failure. There are many takeaways from the article but the standout idea is that the American dream is not a promise, but just a dream. This article will give insights as to how difficult it is to achieve The American Dream as it is an illusion. The article will shed light on how the American dream is only achievable for a chosen few with others wallowing in bitterness and resentment.

Citra, Vidya Muthya. “American Dream in Jay Gatsby as the Main Character of The Great Gatsby Novel.” Compendium: Journal of Cultural, Literary, and Linguistic Studies 1.1 (2017): 84-93.

Citra discusses the background and history of the idea of the American dream. The article traces the development of the catchphrase and how it has been applied across different literary and how it was also used in The Great Gatsby. The article dives into the details of the American dream and explains its main characteristics which include self-reliance, individualism, seeking happiness, and persistence. Citra further links each characteristic of the American Dream to a particular character. For instance, the search of happiness stands out in both Daisy and Tom Buchanan’s characters. This article will be useful as it will be used to build a background on the nature of the American dream and how different characters applied it.

Fitzgerald, Scott. “The Great Gatsby.” Inc, 2008, pp. 71-85, Web.

The article examines three major themes that are found in The Great Gatsby which include optimism, love and the American dream. It comprehensively explains how the author portrays love entanglement among the characters and how it affects the construct of wealth amongst them. The source provide that Fitzgerald uses Gatsby as the embodiment of the American dream: growing up from a poor farm boy to owning a large house with servants capable of attending lavish parties. Even though Gatsby is rich, he still feels empty and unhappy. The article is suitable for this research as it provides a new perspective on the failure of the American dream as compared to its achievement that many people project about it.

Hodo, Zamira. “The Failure of the American Dream in “The Great Gatsby”- Fitzgerald.” European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, 2017, pp. 299-305.

Hodo’s article reflects on the failures and potential disappointments accompanied by the pursuit of the American dream. In the article, Hodo explains he nature of the American dream and how it reflects the ideals of a nation such as liberty, equality, and democracy. The article further explains how the idea of the American dream has permeated literacy works over the years and is well-captured in The Great Gatsby. The article explains how different characters displayed the elements of the American Dream and how their actions were all geared towards it achievement. The article will give valuable insight on the Great Gatsby and how it depicts the American dream. More specifically, the article will be used to discuss how the American dream is not always one that comes to fruition, with most people failing.

Kochan, Sandra. The Great Gatsby and the American Dream. GRIN Verlag, 2007.

Sandra Kochan’s book explains how the American dream is a myth about America being the New World. As the New World, American is therefore the place where people can get their second chances of have a fair shot of upward social mobility. In contrast, Europe is the old world where social divisions, corruption, and tyranny are common. The book will be an invaluable addition to my research work as it sheds light on how the Great Gatsby depicts the American dream as an illusion. Furthermore, the book details how each character paved a unique path towards attainment of the American dream, but almost inevitably failed.

Mohammadi, Ali, and Ali Mohammadi. “The Great Gatsby: An Ostensibly Fulfilled Dream in an Unfulfilled Society.” International Journal of Science and Research, vol. 9, no. 5, 2018, pp. 1196-1202.

The scholarly journal highlights the efforts that Gatsby puts upon him to reinvent his social status. By doing so, he can have the woman he desires by creating a new identity that allows him to leave an extravagant lifestyle. The article portrays the theme of American dream by projecting how individuals – as portrayed by Gatsby – go to great extents such as undertaking in criminal activities to attain high social class. The journal is an excellent source for the literary analysis of The Great Gatsby because it illuminates in detail the consequences that characters such Gatsby and Myrtle have to bear as a result of chasing the American dream.

Mohammad, Atika, and Muntaha Furah. “Symbolism in the Great Gatsby.” Journal of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, vol. 45, 2018, pp. 42-46.

The scholarly journal depicts the disparate symbols found in The Great Gatsby. The journal projects that the novel has different symbols that are used to denote the American Dream and the Jazz Age. According to this source, the major symbols in the books are the Valley of Ashes, green light and the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg. The book depicts that Gatsby has a disillusioned American Dream he views his main American dream. According to Gatsby, the only way to have Daisy is by being wealthy which leads him to undertake in illegal activities. His American was to be as wealthy as Daisy’s husband Tom, for him to impress her. The article is a good source because it will provide the criticism that Fitzgerald offers on the American Dream. As such it provides relevant information for the literary analysis.

“Themes: The Decline of the American Dream in the 1920s.” 2020, Web.

The website highlights the themes in The Great Gatsby. It indicates that on a shallow scope the book focuses on the thwarted between Gatsby and Daisy. However, on an in depth look, it offers a symbolic meditation of the disintegration of the American dream. The author projects the corroded moral and social values as seen in the pursuit of pleasure, greed and cynicism. Fitzgerald positions his characters as emblems of the corrupted American dream for which hollowness engulfs them. As the source offers a deep analysis on the context of the American dream as it pertains the real world using the author’s lenses, it becomes appropriate for this research. It illuminates the fate that his characters have to meet as a result of the same.

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