The American Nightmare

By: Elizabeth, Chesney, Clayton, and Maddie


Throughout this book, it is evident that the American Dream may actually be a corrupt nightmare. The Great Gatsby shows the image of a “perfect” lifestyle and gives readers the point of view of someone on the inside, who does not share their corruption of morals and numbness to reality.


Although the wealthy were seen as living an impeccable life, this novel shows that all of the things that are considered to make the American Dream, such as money and relationships, are actually the source of all moral and mental destruction creating the American Nightmare.

Argument 1: Myrtle's Death

  • This event in the novel displays the unethical ideals of the American Dream by showing how the mistress takes a fall because of her relationship with Tom.

  • Myrtle was Tom’s mistress, which plays into the American Dream of having a perfect family, life, and a mistress on the side. If it was not for her and Tom’s relationship, she would not have thought the yellow car was Tom and ran out into the road.

  • Daisy was the driver who hit Myrtle, and she did not stop to see what happened. The only important thing to Daisy at that moment was the fact that her perfect life was starting to fall apart, most importantly her relationships with Tom and Gatsby.

  • Overall, this event shows how the relationships between the characters in this novel led to their downfall in the end.

Argument 2: Gatsby’s Parties

  • The overall purpose of Gatsby's extravagant parties was for him to obtain a significant amount of social recognition from the community around him.

  • This concept of being well known is something that many people who strive for the American Dream wish to acquire.

  • Gatsby wanted to people to think very highly of him because he was able to throw great parties with jazz music and lots of alcohol.

Argument 3: Daisy and Tom’s Marriage

  • Daisy’s marriage with Tom exhibits how a lack of true love can lead to a life full of unhappiness, and a void that can not be filled by material possessions, even though that is what many often crave, especially in Daisy’s case.

  • Daisy was well aware of the fact that her relationship with Tom was not anything beyond their mutual love for materialistic items, yet her ambition for having the American Dream may have stripped her from her view of reality.


  • Overall, The Great Gatsby may exhibit the idea of a perfect life, but at the end of the novel Gatsby’s death demonstrates the fall of the American Dream, showing that a flawless dream may end as a corrupt nightmare.

  • The wealth of the characters in this novel and their relationships with one another show the destruction of “perfect” over a lifetime.

Works Sited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Print.