As it relates to The Great Gatsby, the American Dream has everything to do with the fact that our past does not have to dominate our future.
This is usually understood in the sense that a person born into poverty is not doomed to poverty. The class system in America is fluid. This is the essence of our collective, capitalist dream - you have the power to climb the economic ladder.
This novel takes the notion of self-creation to its logical limit with a character who not only climbs the class ladder and creates his own wealth, but he also fabricates an identity. Is this a perversion of the American Dream? Is it an extension of the American Dream?
Should we read the other characters, all highly concerned with class and wealth as these inform identity, as equally engaged in the process of self-creation?