In order to examine the premise of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is essential to determine exactly what the American Dream consists of. This dream is associated with individualism and enthusiasm. It celebrates the pursuit of success, fame, power and glory.
Jay Gatsby is the quintessential person in search of accomplishing the American Dream. His humble beginnings in Minnesota provoked Gatsby to fantasize of bigger and better. When Gatsby became acquainted with Dan Cody, it further pushed Gatsby's desires for the wealthy social class. .
After finding the love of his life, Daisy, Gatsby works his entire life to impress her - the one girl that embodies everything he has wished for. He even goes as far as locating where Daisy and her husband live, and he buys a magnificent mansion across the lake from them. Gatsby's disillusioned dream of Daisy from when they were young and in love is the cause of his newly extravagant lifestyle. Which in turn, creates Gatsby's pursuit of the American Dream. .
Daisy - born among the high life of American culture - thrives on money, ease, and material luxury. Even her husband, Tom, is the epitome of the All-American boy "among various physical accomplishments, he had been one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven - a national figure in a way". Daisy and Tom exude American aristocracy, although, differently then Gatsby. Daisy and Tom are "old money" while Gatsby is "new money" and not accepted into their social class even still. .
The American Dream seems to be an illusion assimilated with wealth and status. More of a "rags to riches" storyline. This dream appears to be corrupt, making Jay Gatsby as well as Daisy and Tom Buchanan along with countless others falling under the same category. The affair between Daisy and Gatsby ultimately fails and ends with Gatsby being shot and killed.