The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In The Great Gatsby, what does F. Scott Fitzgerald suggest about the state of the American Dream, the people who pursue it, and the impact of that pursuit through his depiction of Jay Gatsby and the people in Gatsby’s life?

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald suggests that achieving the American Dream is possible but that the price of success is too high. Those who begin life in a higher social status are likely to maintain that status, while few of those who climb the social ladder can hold on to their position. The main people in Gatsby’s life are Nick and Daisy; all three characters find contradictions between the material and emotional rewards associated with the American Dream.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel shows the contradictions in pursuing and achieving the American Dream. Fitzgerald seems to support the idea that people should aim high and that people often succeed in achieving the American Dream. He also conveys, however, that there is often a very high cost associated with success. The author presents birth, family, and heritage as important aspects of social class. In the novel, several characters were born into in a higher social status, and they are shown as maintaining that status. In contrast, others struggle to move up in the hierarchy ladder; those who reach a higher position are rarely able to hold onto it.

The novel’s main character, Jay Gatsby , exemplifies the rapid ascent from humble beginnings, and he descends even more...

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