The American Dream as a Means of Social Criticism in The Great Gatsby

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Författare: Lovisa Lindberg; [2015-02-16]

Nyckelord: American Dream; social criticism; The Great Gatsby; Fitzgerald;

Sammanfattning: Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show how Fitzgerald uses the American Dream as a means of social criticism of the moral implications that accompany great wealth and material excess. This is portrayed in the characters of The Great Gatsby. A close reading of the novel and an examination of the characters was carried out, and critical sources were used to balance the discussion and provide a valid analytical perspective. This essay illustrates how four characters act as either representative or opposite of the American Dream, and, in light of this, how their relation to the American Dream criticises the state of American society. Tom and Daisy, representative of old-fashioned aspects of the American society, highlight certain aspects of the American Dream. Gatsby and Myrtle, in pursuit of the American Dream, are a critique of the consumer society and its notion that money equals happiness is questioned. Thus, the characters of The Great Gatsby and their relation to the American Dream were found to illustrate a critique of American society.

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