F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece The Great Gatsby (1925) is the quintessential tale of the American dream: the heights a man may reach, the past he can discard, the joy he may (or may not) find, and the tragedy that living the dream may bring him. The novel is set in what Fitzgerald called the "Jazz Age," a period bridging the 1920s and 1930s, and emphasizes the life of pleasure and decadence after the tragedy and horror of World War I. Gatsby's American dream is essentially the "rags-to-riches" story about overcoming poverty and creating a life of pure luxury and indulgence; Fitzgerald's American dream is a dangerous, romantic myth.
Goldsmith, M. (2003). White skin, white mask: Passing, posing, and performing in The Great Gatsby. Modern Fiction Studies, 49(3) , 443-468. Retrieved from Gale Virtual Reference Library (see eBooks).