In The Great Gatsby, what argument is F. Scott Fitzgerald making about the American Dream, based on the desires and fates of the characters?

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The essence of the American Dream is the rags-to-riches tale where someone achieves greatness through their own hard work. In this story, Gatsby comes from extremely humble origins but has managed, by the time he is a young man, to make a modest success of himself. He wins Daisy's love, even though she is his social better, but even at this point he still feels that she is too good for him and feels a sense of conquest in achieving her. His feeling that she will not stay with him, however, seems borne out by the fact that when he is away at war, she does not wait for him, but marries someone of her own social class. This is the end of Gatsby's first American Dream: he's been taught that making a success of oneself does not actually enable someone to become equal with people who were born rich.

After this knockback, then, instead of abandoning the American Dream, Gatsby simply doubles down in his pursuit of it. Having found that honest hard work has not allowed Gatsby access to the upper...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 836 words.)

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