What are 3 arguments for an essay on The Great Gatsby with this thesis about the American dream in the book?  THESIS: Fitzgerald describes the American Dream as unachievable, and chasing after it...

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You may wish to first alter your thesis.  For one thing, the last phrase, "everyone comes up short in the end" is idiomatic as well as repetitive of what the first opinion of the thesis is--the dream is "unachievable."  Secondly, writers strive for parallelism in their theses because this structure allows the reader to better understand each of the opinions that the writer wishes to support.  So, you may wish to revise using three adjectives: 

In the Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the American Dream as illusionary,unattainable, and ultimately, destructive to oneself.

Now, take each of these adjectives and build the topic sentence for your 3 (sometimes more if a topic sentence needs further development) body paragraphs.  For instance, regarding the illusionary quality of the American Dream, you can write a topic sentence about Jay Gatsby's creation of Daisy in his own mind.  Symbolically, he longingly stares at the green light at the end of Daisy's pier as he imagines how their meeting after years will be.  Of course, this meeting does not quite turn out as he has expected.  You can develop this idea by perusing the chapter in which Nick arranges to bring Daisy to Gatsby's house.

Likewise, with the second point of how the American dream is unattainable, you may wish to examine the conflicts that develop in the novel. When, for example, Daisy is frivolous and insincere; later Gatsby urges Daisy to tell Tom that she does not love him, but she hesitates.  Then, when Mrytle is killed, Jay Gatsby stands loyally outside her window, hoping to be able to defend her, but Daisy plots against him with her husband Tom.  Of course, there are other supportive incidences.

For the third point, the final chapters are the ones you may wish to peruse.  Gatsby is destroyed by the superficiality of the people of his age and the unreality of his dream.  The final chapter finds him alone even in death.


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