The American Dream in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

  • Ayub Muhammad Haji Cultural and Social Center - Salahaddin University-Erbil - Iraq
الكلمات المفتاحية: American Dream, Jazz Age, Lost Generation, Morality, Ideals


The paper explores the corrupted idea of the American Dream in one of the greatest novels written on the topic, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even though the pursuance of the American Dream stems from the idea of hard work and success that is pure, truthful, and just, Jay Gatsby’s approach as a protagonist in achieving it leads to his demise. His relationships with other characters, particularly Tom Buchanan and Daisy Buchanan, were tainted because of the morally corrupted notion of the American Dream. This paper textually analyzes The Great Gatsby and explores that how Gatsby runs after a dream (Daisy) that he cannot achieve even after becoming financially wealthy, and how the corrupt ideals of the American Dream become the reason that he cannot fulfill his own dreams.

In many ways, The Great Gatsby represents Fitzgerald's attempt to confront his conflicting feelings about the Jazz Age. Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald was driven by his love for a woman who symbolized everything he wanted, even as she led him toward everything he despised.


1. Allen, Frederick Lewis (1931). Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties.
2. Batchelor, Bob (2013). Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
3. Berman, Ronald (1996). The Great Gatsby and Modern Times. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
4. Benjamin, F. (1998). “Autobiography.” Autobiography and Other Writings. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
5. Bloom, H. (1986). F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. New York\Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publisher.
6. Bruccoli, Matthew Joseph, ed. (2000). F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: A Literary Reference. New York City: Carroll & Graf Publishers.
7. Callahan, J. (1996). F. Scott Fitzgerald's Evolving American Dream: The "Pursuit of Happiness" in Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, and the Last Tycoon. Nineteenth-Century Literature, 42, 374.
8. Fitzgerald, F. (1986). Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Collier Books, Print.
9. Gross, D., & Gross, M. (2008). Understanding The Great Gatsby. Beijing: China Renmin University Press.
10. Ousby, I. (1979). An Introduction to 50 American Novels. London: Pan Books Ltd.
11. Piper, H. D. (1970). Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: The Novel, The Critics, The Background. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
12. Wang, Z. L. et al. (1992). European Culture: An Introduction. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. Wei, Y. Q., & Li, J. (1998). New Testament. Tianjin: Tianjin People’s Publishing House.
كيفية الاقتباس
Ayub Muhammad Haji. (2021). The American Dream in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. مجلة الفنون والأدب وعلوم الإنسانيات والاجتماع, (67), 361-374.