Fitzgerald’s Idea of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby

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Fitzgerald’s idea of the American dream in ‘The Great Gatsby’—leads to unhappiness and loneliness. Money doesn’t always bring happiness, and eventually it rips relationships apart and changes people in many ways we never knew could happen. money doesn’t always buy happiness even if you are accompanied by a multitude of people.

 In the book The Great Gatsby, everyone of the characters are either unhappy with the way their lives are or they are unhappy because they refuse to change afraid that something might happen if they did. In Chapter 6, page 118, lines 22-24 Nick describes the way Gatsby talked about Daisy as if he could bring back their relationship from the past and start where they left off—He talked a lot about the past and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. In these lines, Gatsby seems so unhappy with his life that he is obsessed with getting his past relationship with Daisy back on track. Another example of unhappiness is Wilson murdering Gatsby for the affair he supposedly had with his wife, Myrtle, when it turned out to be Tom who Myrtle had an affair with. In return, Wilson killed himself from the overwhelmed sadness coursing through his body, and felt the need to end it all the minute things turned messy. In the book The Great Gatsby, Nick describes Tom and Daisy as selfish people because of the actions Wilson chose to make. If Myrtle never cheated on Wilson with Tom, Wilson would have never went “crazy” and mistakenly murder Gatsby which would cause Tom and Daisy to flee. 

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In Chapter 9, page 191, lines 16-20 Nick’s thoughts of Daisy and Tom quotes They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. In these lines, Nick sees that Tom and Daisy are responsible for Gatsby’s death, and suspected that they ran away from their “situation” to avoid getting involved in anything scandalous. In summation, No matter how much people try to please people and make them happy, there will always be consequences to what is chosen as a path to certain journeys such as Myrtle and Tom’s affair. Myrtle tried to use Tom as a ticket-way for the wealthy and luxurious life but she didn’t realize the consequence for her affair with Tom would result in the death of her husband, George Wilson. 

The same thing happened to Daisy and Gatsby’s affair, because Gatsby was so involved with trying to get back Daisy and rekindle their past relationship by showing off his wealth Daisy realized her love for Gatsby changed over time causing her to understand that she fell in love with Tom. The American Dream is harder to achieve than it sounds no matter what sacrifices are made. In the end, all that’s been working for will either be worth the wait, or a waste of time. In the book The Great Gatsby, Gatsby never achieves his dream because in the end Daisy chose Tom over him no matter how much money he wasted and all his efforts made through their affair. When Gatsby first meets Daisy, he hopes that she would be the woman he knew several years ago before he served his time in the military, but when he came back home, he didn’t realize how much Daisy changed. He is disappointed that the woman he fell in love with wasn’t who he wants her to be, and hopes for a better life. In the book, Daisy is shocked to see Gatsby over the years of their separation. 

In Chapter 7, Gatsby fires all his servant to avoid gossip about him and Daisy having an affair behind Tom’s back. But during their time together, he comes to realize that she changed more than he expected over the years comprehending that she was a selfish, materialistic, and shallow character completely attentive about her husband’s money. She later exposed herself as she was very impressed with Gatsby’s wealth making Gatsby disappointed in her, expecting Daisy to love him not for his money and status. The reason why Gatsby cannot achieve his dream with Daisy is because after all the things Gatsby sacrificed, she chose Tom in the end. Gatsby in the end felt like he didn’t do enough to win her love, only to realize it was much harder to win someone’s love back than it sounded. In the book, Fitzgerald gives an accurate representation of how the American Dream can’t be easily achieved with money, wealth and luxury because not only does it involve hard work, but it also involves trust and change over time. Social classes vary in three different categories. High class, middle class, and lower class. The higher class of the 1920s are born into wealth where they don’t have to show off their opulence. Instead they are raised gracefully. delicacy and elegantly. They are used to the money’s power and how it can bring them anything they want. The middle class of the 1920s look for jobs to get rich and have a strong desire to become rich to live better lives, and the lower class live in either tiny homes overcrowded with big furniture, or live in poverty on the streets fighting for their survival. In the 1920s of The Great Gatsby, these social classes represent the characters in the story that eventually end up having an unhappy path and their struggle to achieve the American dream leads them to a path of misery or death. 

One example of someone’s social class leading to unhappiness and death is Jay Gatsby. When Gatsby was young, his parents were unsuccessful farm people with shiftless jobs. His imagination never really thought of his parents as someone other than the people that gave him life. He eventually fell in love with a woman named Daisy, but he was accidentally sent to Oxford instead of returning home from the military to his girlfriend for five months. In those remaining five months, Daisy ended up marrying Tom Buchanan deciding to not wait any longer for Gatsby to return. One day in Chapter 6, Jay Gatsby saw a yacht owned by someone named Dan Cody who was a wealthy copper mogul. Gatsby noticed that a storm was headed towards Cody and rowed out to warn him. Cody took Gatsby, on board his yacht as his personal assistant ever since then. While traveling with Cody to the Barbary Coast and the West Indies, Gatsby eventually came to fall in love with the wealth and luxury Cody had in his life.

 Although Cody was a heavy drinker, one of Gatsby’s jobs was to look after him during his drunken stages and made sure he was well taken care of. This was one reason why Gatsby never became a drinker himself, because he was afraid of the dangers it had. When Cody died, he left Gatsby $25,000. Cody’s mistress prevented him from claiming his inheritance which sparked Gatsby’s need to become a wealthy man.

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