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In The Great Gatsby,
Fitzgerald suggests that the American dream is in a sense, corrupt. Though in
the book it never directly states any specifics on the people who pursue the
American dream, one can infer that if you are wanting to go after the American dream
you needs to be willing to work hard and fast. In the example of Jay Gatsby… We
really don’t get truly introduced to Gatsby until chapter 6. In chapter 6, it
is stated “James Gatz-that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had
changed it at the age of 17…” (Fitzgerald, 98). At this point in the story, we
have been told where Gatsby is from and what kind of social class he grew up
with. After we are introduced to the original “James Gatz” we hear nothing of
him again unless it is dealing with the wealth he accumulated in just a few
short years and how in love with Daisy he is. As we saw in chapter 9, after the
death of Gatsby of course, James Gatz (Gatsby’s Father) shows Nick the schedule
Gatsby made as a teenager, before he even met Daisy. It is clearly stated
“Practice elocution, poise, and how to attain it… 5.00-6.00” (Fitzgerald,173)
thus showing the reader that even before Gatsby met Daisy he was set on
becoming a better person of a more elite class. Given that, one can
indefinitely tell that through Gatsby’s point of view, the American Dream, it
to achieve a life of money, manners, and struggle.

In Gatsby’s life, or rather, from what segment of Gatsby’s
life the reader did see, one can infer that Daisy was the most important person
in Gatsby’s life, and one mentions her first because everything Gatsby does
after he meets Daisy, it to ensure he gets Daisy, to have and to hold, all on
his own. We as the reader, also know that once Nick meets Gatsby Nick becomes
just as important as Daisy though not of the same reasons. Nick is Gatsby’s
confidante, the one who essentially becomes Gatsby’s best friend. At least
until Gatsby is murdered. That said, one can see that everything Daisy does is
based on money. A perfect example is in chapter 4, Daisy marries Tom because he
has money, or rather “old money” he was born into money, he did not technically
have to work a day in his life. Not to mention she fit into the gender roles
very easily as back then white girls (or women rather) were expected to act like
“beautiful little fools.” Which is why daisy said “I’m glad it’s a girl. And I
hope she’ll be a fool-that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a
beautiful little fool.” (Fitzgerald,17) One can Infer she said this because she
does not want her daughter to know of hurt and heartbreak, which is of course
perfectly understandable and yet completely unrealistic to those of us living
in modern times. At this point, Daisy does know Tom is cheating on her, but she
blatantly refuses to confront him about it in fear of how she will be viewed.
Women of the time were supposed to remain oblivious when their husbands started
to play butler with the maids. They were supposed to expect a man to “wear the
pants” in the relationship, women of the time were not women, they were
possessions, pawns, unintelligent pawns. Of course, this is not the case with
Daisy as she has experienced so much in her life already and only within the 20
somewhat years she was. She is the perfect representation of a woman living the
American Dream. She had a rich husband, who was of course, at the top of the
top, the towns bigwig, and she had a daughter, she could literally do what ever
she wanted because she did not need to work, he husband had enough money and
she herself had enough money, not to mention a nanny who was more like the
child’s mother than Daisy herself. The perfect dream of American women.

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Now we go back to someone mentioned previously. Nick, the
guy who essentially turned out to be the best friend of one Mr. Jay Gatsby. As
you can tell, different people have different views of what the true “American
Dream” is, while Jay believed the American dream was to get to spend the rest
of your life with the love of your life along with believing in making money to
be more of an elite character, Nick believed that really the “American Dream”
was to make it to the top and make money and become wealthy and become
successful. I believe Fitzgerald wanted to illustrate these things in order to
specifically make the characters seem as they are. With this view Nick has on
the “American Dream” it makes him seem more relatable to our generation and our
modern people, being that Nick’s “American Dream” is still the dream we have in
America today, or at least some people of America. Nick goes about success in a
rather different way than what Gatsby did, Nick is trying to acquire all the
aspects of the American dream in a truly noble way, hard work, lost of time,
dedication, no illegal activities, etc. Gatsby went about it as “How can I make
the most money in the shortest amount of time so I can get Daisy back” (as if
she was ever planning on getting back with you to begin with apologies but
rather unrealistic) which led Gatsby to turn to gambling and illegal selling of
alcohol (but I mean really Tom you were drinking alcohol at your house and yet
you want Gatsby to seem like the Criminal?) In chapter 9, there is a
conversation that happens between Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom. Gatsby is at first
having an innocent conversation with Tom answering questions about Oxford and
telling the truth (all in all Gatsby is a noble man) over every word, and yet
Tom so desperately feels the need to point out “He and this Wolfsheim bought up
a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over
the counter…” (Fitzgerald,133) Okay Tom… because you totally didn’t just bring
your own grain alcohol at all, right? Point being, Fitzgerald shows us
different things in writing based on different characters views on the
“American Dream”. 

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