How are Gatsby's dreams related to the American Dream of Success ?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Much of what Gatsby does is related to and reflective of the American Dream.  Gatsby envisions what he wishes to be.  This driving force of subjectivity defining objective reality is a reflection of the American Dream, which stresses that an individual's thought can construct their reality.  Gatsby's hope in winning over Daisy, in gaining material wealth, and in embodying the "Platonic conception of himself" are all representative and related to the American Dream of success.  All of these are rooted in the fundamental optimism of the American Dream, a belief that "nothing can stop" a determined individual.  Similar to the American Dream of success, Gatsby's beliefs of self and success are "a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.”  It is this element that is also shown to be reflective of the American Dream.  The vision of success in the American Dream is one in which individuals are shown to lack reflection and a sense of internal control.  Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy is rooted in limitless excess, of which there is nothing larger except the satisfaction of one's own desires.  In reveling only the fruits of one's labor, one sees how Gatsby's dreams are related to both the successes and failures within the American Dream.

Wiggin42 | Student

The American Dream is a rags to riches dream. And Gatsby certainly embodies that. He rose up out of nothing and made his own wealth. He pursues his own dream of loving Daisy and achieving financial success. Gatsby gains a status in society as almost a minor celebrity. Fame, fortune, and love; these are the pillars of the illusion of the American Dream. 

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The Great Gatsby

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