Be sure to add your source letters to the circles!#1
The Early American Dream:
A skilled person could take advantage of “this land of opportunity and plenty” and thereby acquire wealth and success. However, Trask says one has to follow a “well defined set of behavioral rules” to realize the dream.
So, anyone can make something of herself with hard work and “talent.” Call the rules “behavioral rules” implies social practices, not laws. Does Gatsby not follow the rules when he commits a faux pas like having “manners that [sprang] from the swamps Louisiana”? Throws tacky parties? Not show up at his own parties? Socializes with questionable characters like Wolfsheim?
Living simply and close to the land would provide happiness. This lifestyle is “far better” than urban living.
“Agrarian virtue” vs. “urban vice” - established by Thomas Jefferson
Jay Gatz did grow up on a farm, but this did not make him happy. He got closer to his dream when he came east and got wealthy. However, his ultimate dream is associated with this agrarian living- “a fresh, dream breast of the new world” (189). This image is a stark contrast to how the city is described! What does this quote on final page mean? Is the Dream real, but Gatsby just perverted it?
The agrarian myth “gained increasing stature” “during the turbulent era of westward expansion.”
All main characters migrated FROM the west. If the dream was established when people moved west, why does Fitz have these characters moving away from the west- toward the east. Was the simple living=happiness dream never realized? Do humans naturally want more? Is the dream now dead?
“Fitzgerald develops the tragedy of Jay Gatsby as the consequence of his quixotic quest for Daisy Buchanan.”
Life ends tragically for Gatsby BECAUSE he relentlessly pursued an unrealistic goal.
Quixotic- exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical