The characters in the novel, by and large, have achieved what is supposed to be the American Dream, or at least one part of it. They are affluent and financially successful. But they aren't happy. They have discovered that, obviously, money doesn't buy happiness, but also that it doesn't necessarily buy status. The people at Gatsby's parties are scorned by the "old money" on Long Island, and Gatsby, himself a nouveau riche, scrambles to impress Daisy, who comes from an aristocratic background. Ultimately, the novel portrays the material success achieved by its characters as incomplete and hollow.