“The American Dream” is an idea that fills the minds of individuals seeking the “orgiastic future”- a struggle to transform dreams into reality (WV. Americans. Org. UK). As the American Dream becomes tangible, the aspirations and taste for possible wealth in a new world begins to corrupt minds; people have fallen into a fantasy, confusing idealism with realism. This “Pursuit of Happiness”, once a solid symbol of equality, freedom and possibilities, has mutated into a materialistic monster of distrust, avarice and empty pleasure – it has evolved into The Pursuit of Power.
Most evidently shown in F. Scott Fitzgerald greatest American masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, epitomizes the theme Of the decaying American Dream, and its components, wealth, dream and time, by the protagonist, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby dream, the longing for the love of the beautiful and rich Daisy Buchanan, pollutes his moral judgment creating an ethical smog, disabling him to determine right from wrong. He resorts to “bootleg[gin]” (Fitzgerald 49), a life of crime, in order to equalize himself with the uncontrolled materialism that consume her lifestyle.
With the thought of money as ultimate power, Gatsby believes he can “buy’ Daisy love, a misguided assumption twisted from people’s ideas during the Roaring Twenties, “a boisterous era of prosperity, fast cars, jazz, speakeasies, and wild youth” (https://website. Keenness. Dude/ Also, Nick compares the “green breast of the new world” (180) to the green light at the end of Daisy dock. The green light symbolizes Gatsby hopes and dreams for the future, which never become reality, while the “green breast Of the world” is a representation Of the dreams of the immigrants that came to the new world seeking opportunity.
Therefore, by comparing the “green breast of the world” to the light at the end of Daisy’s dock, Fitzgerald further instills the idea that the American Dream is never completely fulfilled. Contributing to Gatsby dreams is wealth. The “natural scarcity’ of money, from the ideas of John Locke, state our society would “collapse” without the regulation of money (WV. Americans. Org. UK/). Yet our society has already collapsed as a consequence of this theory of money as the root of our civilization.
Jay Gatsby mentally manipulates the original philosophy Of the American Dream by seeking the easy way out. Using the “get rich quick” theory, he cheats his way out of the native ideas of the American Dream- success, fame and wealth through hard work. Time also plays a role along with dreams and wealth in the decaying of the American dream. Fitzgerald not only manipulates time in the novel, he refers to time repeatedly to reinforce the idea that time is a driving force in the 1 sass, which is “e period of greet change” (https://website. Keenness. Du/ Gatsby relationship with time is a major aspect to the plot. He wants to erase five years from not only his own life but also Daisy’s. Gatsby response to Nick, telling him that he can repeat the past, is symbolic of the tragic irony that is behind Gatsby fate. Gatsby exclaims, “Can’t repeat the past? Why Of COUrse you can! ” (116). Gatsby is set on the idea that he and Daisy will be together, a dream he never achieves. From Gatsby illusions of the past preoccupying all his thoughts, he forgets about the key dimension he exists in which is the present.