How is the "American Dream" defined in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby?  

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In the Great Gatsby, the majority of the characters find some sort of wealth for themselves and end up living in a well-to-do area of New York, essentially living the high life with extravagant parties and fancy cars. Unfortunately, none of this is satisfying for any of them.

In essence, the idea Fitzgerald puts forth is that the "American Dream" is superficially one of wealth and excess, but in reality is far from that. It seems that the characters are happier with simpler lives and an inability to proverbially drown themselves in extravagance. The true American Dream laid out in the story is security and love, as Gatsby, the wealthy and looked-up-to character ends up dying alone in spite of his massive, luxurious wealth. The story reflects upon the solitude of his life and his fruitless pursuit of Daisy and makes the conclusion that perhaps excess is not the best option, but instead satisfaction, love, and simple security are a better combination for which to strive.

Really, in the novel,...

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