From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nominated by Denise Abbe
Jay Gatsby epitomizes the American Dream. Here is a man who grew up in poverty, always wanting to be somebody, meeting the love of his life in Louisville before leaving to fight in World War I, having that woman (Daisy) profess her love for him and promising that she would wait for him ... only to find her later married to Tom Buchanan while Gatsby fought overseas.
Gatsby then reinvents himself, from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby, a millionaire (through rather suspicious means involving bootlegging and other various criminal dealings). Gatsby's dream soon disintegrates (Fitzgerald's possible commentary on the destruction of the American dream in the 1920s). Some people may see Gatsby as an ideological man who gave everything for nothing. I see him as man who did everything he could to achieve what he believed was the American Dream. Who could not admire that?