The American Dream in The Great Gatsby

What is the American Dream? The American Dream is the idea that no matter where you come from (rich or poor, high or low class), you can always achieve success.

What are boundless goals?  The idea of ‘boundless goals’ is that when you try to achieve everything, you will never appreciate or be satisfied with what you have.

1960s Family Portrait Outside Suburban House Parents 3 Three Kids

The stereotypical American family: 2.5 kids and a large house in the suburbs.

How does this relate to the Great Gatsby? In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the author challenges society’s more modern view of the ‘American Dream’, showcasing the flaws of having boundless goals.


Thesis: Though Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby come from very different backgrounds, they are similar because they are both fuelled by the desire to ‘be the best; their unrealistic expectations and constant need to look to the future prevents them from ever being happy.

Author F Scott Fitzgerald.

Daisy is constantly focused on achieving and maintaining a flawless reputation within the upper class, and while Gatsby is also concerned with his popularity, he is also adamant with bettering himself, and more simply, achieving Daisy. Their constant focus on their social status and wealth, and achieving more, prevent them from ever being satisfied.


For a short introduction to the American dream in The Great Gatsby watch the video below. In the video, John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, analyzes the first chapter and explains the idea of the American Dream.


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