To what extent does Fitzgerald use his characters to reveal ideas about the American dream in The Great Gatsby?

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Fitzgerald uses his characters to reveal ideas about the American dream to a great extent. To quote the Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is at the core of American ideology. The dream is that anyone can achieve success with enough hard work.

Gatsby himself embodies...

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Fitzgerald uses his characters to reveal ideas about the American dream to a great extent. To quote the Declaration of Independence, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is at the core of American ideology. The dream is that anyone can achieve success with enough hard work.

Gatsby himself embodies the American dream through his rag to riches background. His "parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people," and yet Gatsby attains such a wealth to host lavish parties. However, riches can't buy everything, as Fitzgerald shows us. First of all, Gatsby is still unable to secure Daisy's love, as it becomes clear that she will never leave Tom. Without Daisy, Gatsby's dreams are not fully realized.

I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him.

Money can't buy love or real affection. Gatsby's unattended funeral shows his false friends. Consider how others treated Gatsby to dive deeper into Fitzgerald's opinion of the American dream.

Additionally, while people enjoy Gatsby's parties and are happy to enjoy his wealth, no large amount of money will ever be enough to appease a certain crowd. If Gatsby is the embodiment of the American dream, think about how other characters interact with him. Through characters like Tom, Fitzgerald shows us how old money looks down on new money. Tom begins an investigation into Gatsby, assuming he's a criminal: "A lot of these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know."

Even by attaining massive wealth, Gatsby will always be looked down on by those who come from rich families. He cannot change his past, no matter how hard he works or how he changes his future.

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