In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, many themes
are enclosed; the most salient of these themes is related
to the American Dream. The American Dream is based on the
idea that any person, no matter what they are, can become
successful in life by his or her hard work. The dream also
embodies the idea of a self-sufficient person, an
entrepreneur making it successful for themselves. The Great

Gatsby is about what happened to the American Dream during
the 1920s, an era when the dream had been corrupted by the
relentless pursuit of wealth. In this novel, the pursuit of
the American Dream and the pursuit of a romantic dream are
the ultimate causes of the downfall of the book’s title
character, Jay Gatsby.

Throughout the story, Jay Gatsby avoids telling the
truth of his hard, unglamorous childhood. He does this to
keep his superficial image of himself and to save himself
from the embarrassment of being in a state of poverty during
his youth. His parents were lazy and unsuccessful people
who worked on the farm, and because of this Gatsby never
really accepted them as his parents. Jay Gatsby’s real name
is James Gatz and he is from the very unexciting North

Dakota. He changed his name to Jay Gatsby when he was
seventeen years old, which was the beginning of his version
of the American Dream. In all realities Gatsby arose from
his Platonic view of himself, the idealistic self-view that
a seventeen year old boy has of himself (Fitzgerald 104).

Though concealed for most of the story, Gatsby’s
embarrassing childhood is a major source of determination in
his attempt to achieve the American Dream.

During Gatsby’s early adulthood, he joined the army. He
first met Daisy when he was at Camp Taylor and he and some
other officers stopped by her house. He initially loved

Daisy because of her extraordinary house and because many
other men had been with her already. One evening in

October, during 1917, Gatsby fell in love with Daisy Fay,
and in turn she fell in love with Gatsby. "Daisy was the
first ‘nice’ girl that he had ever known" (Fitzgerald 155).

Their love was an uneasy one at first for Gatsby to
comprehend because he wasn’t rich by any standards and he
felt that he wasn’t worthy of Daisy’s affection, but his
uneasiness was uplifted when he and Daisy fell in love and
when he found out that Daisy knew a lot because he knew a
variety of things that she didn’t. Their month of love was
physically ended when Gatsby had to go to war, but their
emotional love never ended. As Gatsby performed brilliantly
throughout the war, they wrote each other frequently. Daisy
couldn’t understand why Gatsby couldn’t come home. She
wanted her love to be their with her, she needed some
assurance that she was doing the right thing. It didn’t
take long for Daisy to get over Jay because in the Spring of

1918 she fell in love with a rich, former All-American
college football player named Tom Buchanon. This broke Jay

Gatsby’s heart. His love for Daisy was a strong one and he
was determined to get her back. This first love with Daisy
had a great impact on his idea of one of the aspects of
achieving the American Dream.

Throughout the novel, the reader is mislead about how

Gatsby became wealthy. Gatsby claims on several different
occasions that he inherited his parents’ immense fortune.

This is a story that Gatsby made up in order to keep his
self-image up by not letting people know about his
childhood. The truth is that Gatsby got rich by illegal
measures. He was friends with the notorious Meyer

Wolfsheim. Meyer Wolfsheim was the racketeer who supposedly
fixed the World Series of 1919. He was Gatsby’s connection
to organized crime, in which Gatsby became rich. Gatsby’s
true sources to richness were selling bootleg liquor in his
chain of drug stores and creating a giant business to get
rid of and sell stolen Liberty bonds (Mizener 188).

Gatsby’s methods of gaining wealth corrupt the morality of
the American Dream although they help him to achieve it.

It did not take long for Gatsby to attempt to win Daisy
back after he returned from the army. Jay Gatsby had this
romantic view of Daisy and himself together and happy
forever. He felt the best way to achieve this idea would be
for him to become at least as rich as Daisy’s husband Tom

Buchanon. He knows that the best ways for him to pry

Daisy’s affection away from Tom are gaining wealth and
gaining material possessions. Daisy is a shallow woman who
is easily overwhelmed by material items. Gatsby’s main