f. scot fitzgerald critiques the idea of the american dream (like many other classic authors) through the situations of the characters.
jay gatsby is able to aquire an enormous amount of wealth throughout his life, but he is unable to penetrate the upper class. he ends up being killed after tangling in that crowd for too long
possibly mention the context of the 20s. a tumultuous time following WW1, increase in immigration as well as womens rights and the massive economic boom. (with the crash looming in 1929) there was a belief that anyone could ‘strike it rich’ like gatsby did.
george and myrtle wilson were middle class people looking to improve their life, and achieve the american dream
daisy is the ultimate, perfect example of the american dream.
the darkest secret at the end, gatsby’s wealth didn’t come from work, it came from a life of crime. fitzgerald is basically saying american dream is actually a lost promise.
also underlying greed strewn throughout the novel, and affairs which tear couples apart.
‘But I didn’t call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone–he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward–and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.’
very key symbol of the green light, and gatsby reaching out to something (the american dream) that he cannot aquire.
hope that helps 🙂 feel free to disagree and develop your own opinions on this subject.
if you want more info, there are plenty of articles full of quotes, examples and ideas on the internet. reading critical perspectives of the great gatsby are also good if you’re willing to look 😀