How can I describe Daisy's and George's "American dream" in the novel The Great Gatsby?(3 or 4 points for each character please!) thanks! :)

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I see Daisy's American Dream to follow 3 pursuits:

  • PLEASURE: Indicative of the 1920s, Daisy is looking for a good time and to have her own needs met, thus she stays with the safe financially stable Tom, but seeks an extramarital affair elsewhere because of the emotional connection her marriage is lacking.
  • IGNORANCE: Daisy seems to know early on that Tom has a girl, and she hopes that her own little girl will be a "fool". However, this relationship that Tom has on the side is never discussed between the two.
  • MATERIAL-BASED: Daisy came from much wealth and married into much wealth for safety purposes and likely to please her family. She likes getting to have anything she wants and not having to worry.

Each of these pursuits exemplify parts of the American Dream in that they offer safety, happiness, and working to not have to work.

George on the other hand, models the scraping to get by that so many of the Americans today struggle with. He wants to provide something nice for his wife eventually, is willing to work toward that, and he understands it will take time. This is the American Dream so many immigrants face because there is process involved that takes almost a generation.

Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

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