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Gatsby's American Dream Presentation

By Audrey, Ada, Anita, Kathy, Sarah 10R
by

Audrey Wong

on 21 March 2013

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Transcript of Gatsby's American Dream Presentation

Jay Gatsby The American Dream Why did it fail? Justifications Gatsby's Mistakes Gatsby's "Dead" Dream Gatsby's Reality Gatsby's Life Gatsby's Wealth Gatsby's "Dream" Gatsby's Dream Gatsby Gatsby's American Dream In Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, all the characters are, in one way or another, attempting to become happier with their lives. The characters in the novel are divided into two groups: the rich upper class and the poorer lower class (West Egg and East Egg respectively). Though the protagonists in the novel are only striving to make their lives better, their American Dream they are all trying to achieve is eventually ruined by the harsh reality of life. Gatsby's American Dream is an allegory of the American Dream. He can be seen as the embodiment of every man chasing their American Dream by the way he seeks to improve his life and become wealthy and prosperous.

Throughout everything thrown at him, Gatsby has always had one key aspect of the American Dream and therefore attains wealth and prosperity to fulfill this dream, and seeking happiness in Daisy, in his dream. Gatsby's dream can be seen as the original American Dream; the typical 'rags to riches' story where he goes from being a boy from a poor background to becoming a prosperous man. This is demonstrated in his numerous material goods such as his mansion, his cars as well as the illustrious parties he holds.

However, though Gatsby has achieved the wealthy part of is American Dream, he is yet to achieve his happiness which clearly depends on Daisy. This shows that Daisy can be identified as Gatsby's American Dream, with the material goods and wealth being a necessary step to be closer to his dream. The American Dream is described by many as achieving a successful, prosperous, and a joyful life through hard work alone. This is reflected on many people across the whole of America.

However, in the novel by Scott Fitzgerald, this notion contrasts greatly to Gatsby. Although he managed to become successful, he earned his wealth through illegal means. As well as this, Daisy Buchanan who was already married to Tom, plays the central part of Gatsby's dream. The fact that Gatsby fabricated his past and his life under an alias shows that he is unable to be content with his own origins. Gatsby is portrayed by Fitzgerald in the beginning of the novel as a sad and lonely character who is pining after his first and only love - Daisy. He returns to New York after the war to find that Daisy has moved on with her life and has married Tom Buchanan and into a wealthy and materialistic life. Although Gatsby claims that his money came from being born into a wealthy family from the West, it is later revealed that has in fact earned his money from the illegal business of manufacturing and selling bootlegged liquor.

Later, when Daisy realises that Gatsby's wealth has been attained through illegal means, she leaves him, therefore ending his idea of the American Dream. Gatsby's dream fails as he is still living in his past. "I can't help what's past." Daisy's tone is apologetic as she is sorry that Gatsby is still reminiscing in his past and lost memories.

Gatsby's illegal dealings with prohibited transport, manufacture and selling of bootlegged alcohol backfires on him, as Daisy, his central part of the American Dream, leaves him when she finds out how he has gained his wealth and material possessions. Seeing as Gatsby uses criminal means to achieve wealth as well as his "American Dream", it demonstrates how desperately he wants to be taken seriously by others and that he can indeed care for his lover. Using his fake persona and fool-proof criminal processes to gain his wealth and social status, it shows the audience that he thinks that he thinks that he could not be looked down upon or judged from being from a lower-class family. "But with every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away..." The symbolism of the sun setting represents the notion of Daisy slipping away from his American Dream. Through the use of imagery, Fitzgerald shows that Gatsby's dream is fake and that with every step he took, his American Dream, being Daisy, is slipping through his fingertips. This is conveyed through the metaphor "...dead dream..." "He stared around at his possessions ... in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real."

This quote shows that when Daisy is present, all the materialistic prosperity Gatsby owns does not seem to be present. This is due to the fact that in Gatsby's eyes, all he can see is Daisy, and that she cannot possibly compare to all of his accessories in his wealthy lifestyle. Gatsby only focuses on Daisy as she is his idea of the American Dream and all that he has lived for. "People are so busy dreaming the American Dream, fantasizing about what they could be or have a right to be, that they're all asleep at the switch. Consequently we are living in the Age of Human Error."

- Florence King The Great Gatsby Why did it fail? Gatsby's Lifestyle "Haven't used the pool all summer."

This quote uses first person narration to portray to the audience what Gatsby is thinking. This quote's tone is quite ostentatious as it is meant to show that Gatsby does not enjoy being wealthy and the lifestyle he is currently living.

Gatsby's money and material possessions only serve one purpose, and that is to attract his first love - Daisy. Gatsby's Death "But it wasn't any use. Nobody came."

This quote uses a disappointing tone to convey the idea that Gatsby was not loved by everyone. In fact, very few appreciated and respected him as a friend. This notion is reinforced by the fact that nobody attended his funeral.

Using various techniques, this quote makes us sympathies Gatsby for everything he has done and worked hard for, even though he failed to achieve his American Dream. THE END "And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
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