Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Publication Date



In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a classic about the desire for love and money and how they both affect the characters within the story. It is the story of a man named Jay Gatsby who wants the love of a beautiful young woman Daisy Buchanan and will do anything in his power to get it. The novel is told through the eyes of a young man named Nick Carraway who is not only Gatsby’s neighbor, but also an outsider looking in on the situation at hand. It takes placed during the 1920s right after the end of World War I during what is known to be the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age. This novel focuses on this new idea of the American Dream and how having money will lead to material gain and success. Many of the characters in Fitzgerald’s novel fall for the idea of conspicuous consumption. Advertising, material items, and conspicuous consumption have created a new idea of the American dream from being about hard work, virtue, and morals will lead to success to materialistic accumulation leading to success. During the 1920s not only was there a change in the American Dream, but also there was a change in America itself. There are characters in Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby that buy into the idea of the American Dream of money buys happiness, however their unhappiness reveals the novel’s critique of the shift in the American Dream.


Paper from Dr. Deborah Uman's English Senior Seminar course, Fall 2012.

Additional Files

Poster-Snyder.pdf (563 kB)