Dream is but through the use of the characters in his novel, he directly gives the motives and reasons the characters have for achieving their goals. All of the characters are backed by one main idea in the novel, the idea of an American Dream. In my opinion Fitzgerald does an almost perfect Job of describing the American Dream and applying it to characters in his novel, The Great Gatsby. In The Great Gatsby, there is a fine line between people who are happy with what they have and people who always need more. This separation is represented by East Egg and West Egg. Each side has its own morals they live by.
Characters in the novel travel east and west, looking for their “American Dream”. There is a place though, that lies between West Egg and New York, called “The Valley of Ashes. ” It is here that morals no longer exist and only people who strive for the material things in life can live there. Fitzgerald includes this wasteland in his novel to symbolize the decline of the American dream. It showed that people will be so caught up in a dream they have for wealth, money, fame, etc. Hat they will lose any ideals or morals they have and live in a so called “Valley of Ashes”.
In Fitzgerald novel, the most easily noticeable example of someone trying to achieve their American dream is James Gate, more commonly known as Jay Gatsby. As a child, James grew up with his family in North Dakota. He was not content at all with the farm life so he began moving place to place trying to find a better life for himself. The only times he would shorten the gap between him and wealth was by meeting the wrong types of people, people involved in questionable money making ethos, such as Meyer Wolfishly and Dan Cody.
When Gatsby was supposed to inherit Codes money, the wife kept it all for herself instead. This event was the turning point for Gatsby strive to wealth. Fitzgerald tells his readers later in the story that Jay Gatsby got his money by bootlegging, the illegal sale of alcohol. “l found out what your ‘drug stores’ were. ” He turned to us and spoke rapidly. “He and this Wolfishly bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts.
I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong” (Fitzgerald 106). During the time in Gatsby life he had quite a bit of money but still could not manage to win over the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan. Because of the poor early life he had and his leave for war, it is for these reasons she could not see herself with him. This was what led Gatsby for his greatest desire of money and wealth so he could win Daisy over. All of this being part of his American Dream. Gatsby parties are the center of Fitzgerald story.
Although his parties are extremely popular and extravagant, the purpose of them is not so he can make new friends or talk to beautiful women but the only reason he throws them is that one day he would hope Daisy came to one. On the other hand everyone else came to his parties, usually without an invitation, basically to heighten their status in society. If you were wealthy then you wouldn’t have a problem fitting in. Through these parties Fitzgerald shows the readers how demoralized the lives of people can be if they pledge their life to making the most money they can and being as high in society as hey can.
Nick Caraway is the only person in the novel who is smart enough to realize that the morals most people who attend Gatsby parties follow are corrupt. Nick is from West Egg and knows that once your life becomes wrapped around wealth, your real traditional values are lost. Nick Caraways American dream, compared to Gatsby and all the other wealth seeker’s American dream, is more original to say the least. Caraways success is not measured by how much wealth he made but he cares more about family, friends, morals, and creating a happy life for himself.