The American dream is a constantly fluctuating set of ideals, reflecting the ideas of an era. With America being seen as the land of the promise, the American dream is commonly associated with the freedom and opportunity of gaining wealth, fame, power, glory, and happiness. On the surface, this dream seems almost enchanted, offering people the unprecedented prospect of achieving success regardless of one's race, religion, or family history. The American Dream is exactly what it appears to be the opportunity of perfect lying just around the corner. But the very nature of this fantasy prevents the enjoyment of the success one has earned, as the temptation is always urging one to work a little harder and gain a little more. The American Dream destroys any opportunity of complacency and does not show its own unfeasibility. The American dream is interwoven and deeply embedded in every fabric of American life. The American dream has become the major focal point of many works of American literature. .
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby the pursuit of the American dream is shown through the lives of the protagonists. The story is set during the 1920's, a period when the old values that gave substance to the American dream they became corrupted by the vulgar pursuit of wealth. The protagonist Jay Gatsby had dreams that took the path of amassing personal wealth and social status. For Jay Gatsby, from being born in rural North Dakota and growing up with poor parents, Gatsby came to despise poverty. Gatsby as the narrator, Nick stated "[Gatsby] His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people "his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all."" (Fitzgerald 104). Gatsby motivated by his ambitions wrote a series of plans for his self-improvement at the back cover of a book titled "Hopalong Cassidy-, then set out to become wealthy and successful. He enrolled in the armed forces then was positioned in Kentucky where Gatsby met Daisy, who is Nick's cousin.