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The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

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Julie Ro

on 24 July 2014

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Transcript of The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

Nick Carraway
attended Yale
Moved to NYC to learn about the bond business
moved into West Egg(new rich), beside Jay Gatsby

"The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have tradition that we're descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather's brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day." (Fitzgerald,2)

What is the American Dream?
American Dream
of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American.
a life of personal happiness and
material comfort
as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.
The American Dream instills in people false ideologies of obtaining success through [fruitless] perseverance.
Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
The Green Light
represents Gatsby's Dream, which is Daisy ,attaining her would mean completing his American Dream
the phrase American Dream was first coined by historian James Truslow Adams
wrote a book called "The Epic of America" in 1931
phrase was first invented to describe a failure, not a promise - a broken promise, a dream that that could not survive the monopoly capitalism
5-minute Activity
What is the American Dream?
Symbolism in Great Gatsby
The Grate Gatzbee (The Great Gatsby):
The American Dream

According to the Dictionary.com
The American Dream advertises freedom, happiness, and success but some characters in The Great Gatsby contradicts the American Dream and demonstrates its failure
Setting: Gatsby's House
Your Task:
On the piece of paper provided, write/draw out conditions of an ideal life; go free no matter how ludicrous it is!
$500 000.00/annum job
Mansion in L.A.
"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you'd have to be asleep to believe it"
- George Carlin
".. 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 but a single green light, minute and far away.."
"Gatsby believed in the green light , the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And then one fine morning- So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
The eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg:
the loss of spiritual values in America
corruption of America's people
The 1920s era
People were:
looked for success
Dreamt of prosperity and material excess
Desired wealth that
surpassed noble goals
"that dream of a land in which
life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone
, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."

"It is
not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely
, but
a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable
, and be recognized by others for what they are,
regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
created with attributes from The Declaration of Independence
states that “all men are created equal and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which are
life, liberty and pursuit of happiness

Tom Buchanan
ex-football player at Yale
inherited all of his family money
lives in East Egg(traditional rich)
very arrogant, racist, judgemental, misogynist
discriminates against other races and people with different incomes:
"It's up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things."(Fitzgerald,13)
"And next, they'll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white!(Fitzgerald,130)
he contradicts the promotion of equality, and freedom in the American Dream
The Yellow Rolls Royce
symbol of wealth and success
big role in bringing about Myrtle's death
Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" demonstrates that the theme, the American Dream, is flawed and cannot be achieved
"His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of
contempt in it, even toward people he liked—and there were men at New Haven who had hated his guts."
"There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars" (Fitzgerald 39)
Rise of the American Dream
Parties, lively, happy
Dead, empty, enormous
'minute and far away'
impossible to reach
represents society's desire of achieving the materialistic American Dream
"The bar is in full swing, floating rounds of cocktail permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgetten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names" (40)
the perception of the American Dream was that an individual can achieve success in life
regardless of family history or social status
if they only
work hard enough
In the 1920s
The Valley of Ashes
poverty and hopelessness
those who inhibit this region want to leave but cannot
The American Dream in Great Gatsby
Gatsby's inability to move on from the past
continuously tries to recreate the past
tries to go against the currents - or time to reach his dream
the green light represents his dream that 'recedes' like waves , year by year.
"[He had] one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced-or seemed to face- the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrate on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you, that, at your best you, hoped to convey" (48)
In the Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald shows the American Dream was a failure
rich people were better off in life, lower class wasn't treated equally
Characters in Gatsby did show hope in certain situations:
-Gatsby was hopeful that him and Daisy would work out
Daisy, Tom, and Jordan were the only characters in Gatsby that actually got to live the "American Dream".

Gatsby & The American Dream
Represented the American Dream
his smile
his hopeful and ambitious nature
full of promise
However, he represents the downfall as well
Full transcript