There is a dream,rooted deeply in every American,from the very beginning of theMayFlower,that the great  grandfathers of all Americans had been contemplatingand seeking,and of all Americans that has been written in the second sentence of theUnited States Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."The American Dream , is a belief that as long as the United States after a hard struggle will be able to achieve the ideal of a better life, that is, people have to work through their own hard work, courage, creativity and determination to move towards Prosperity,rather than rely on specific social classes and other assistance. This is usually on behalf of the people in the economic success or entrepreneurial spirit.

  Yet, the dream has already became a nightmare,that in the money-orienting,power-persuing minds springing up since the Industry Revolution,Americans have fallen in,not only the way of life through which Americans rifling for more luxurious enjoyment, but the morality of heart that they persued prosperity with all costs of which they were oblivious.

  Luckly,we had people who saw the reality much more clearly than the blind masses,while those were considered Critics of sorts.They pointed out that many versions of the dream equate prosperity with happiness, and that happiness may not always be that simple. These critics suggest that the American Dream may always remain tantalizingly out of reach for some Americans, making it more like a cruel joke than a genuine dream. Fitzgerald was one of them who went the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James, because he depicted the extolled grandest and most boisterous, reckless and merry-making scene(T.S.Elliot)。

  It was five years that Fitzgerald foreseen the latent fatal cancer of Capitalism of American. The Great Gatsby soon came into being,in which first half is comedy,second half is tragidy.In the third--person view,Nike, who learns that his next-door neighbor, who throws lavish parties hosting hundreds of people, is the wealthy, mysterious Jay Gatsby.And the key charactor ,Gatsby, had fallen in love with Daisy in 1917 as an Army Lieutenant stationed near Daisy's hometown, Louisville. After the war, Gatsby came east and bought his mansion near Daisy and Tom, where he hosts parties hoping she will visit.Befor then Gatsby was a man of integrity and honor,who received great respect form the society to his wealth and power.While after his death,he was merely remembered,forgottern in the flew of time and lust. These parties were fashionable, but pointless. It was only a show-off of Gatsby’s riches and material success. The crowds hardly knew their host; many came and went without invitation. The music, the laughter and the faces, all blurred as one confused mass, showed the purposelessness and the loneliness of the party-goers beneath their marks of relaxation and joviality. All this was typical of “the Jazz Age”, when many people lost belief in American dream and indulge themselves in drinking and dancing. The great expectations which the first settlement of the American continent brings vanish, and so despair and doom set in.In his blue gardens, men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars…On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

  “Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York----every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves.” (Chapter 3, 52)

  The exavagent life, the noisy people constitute Gatsby’s parties. However, the depiction of the fashionable and meaningless parties served to highlight Gatsby’s tragedy by contrasting the grandeur of his party with his violent death, with the frustration of his dream. Gatsby’s funeral was rather deserted and cheerless compared with his parties. It’s a record of human coldness. Nick had invited some people to come to Gatsby’s funeral. These people were all Gatsby’s so-called friends. They found a lot of excuses for their absence because they knew clearly that Gatsby was no longer useful for them. Gatsby’s generous parties had not brought him even one friend. What’s more, Daisy, once Gatsby’s lover, the real killer, “hadn’t sent a message or a flower”。(Chapter 9, 233)The sharp contrast between the exavagence of the parties and the coldness of the funeral revealed the hypocritical relationship among people and the moral degradation of the Jazz Age.

  Gatsby, though his wealth came from his criminal activities,was the typical symbol of American dream in that time,and the whole-hearted dedication of Gatsby and his sincere belief in what he did made him heroic, and this submerged the unpleasant details so that they did not seem important in the final outcome,as has the American dreammer who were so stubborn to believe perspirition would bring what they want.

  The real killer who murderred Gatsby was the society,in which people could become rich overnight by non-moral means.A poor beautiful girl could marry a wealthy boy who may not be handsome for the purpose of being rich,and a young man could find a job in which he would do nothing but be paid.While Gatsby, the true heir to the American dream,was killed by Conspiracy of his lover Daisy ,who was actually stimulated by the vanity fair, and lived in luxury at the cost of Gatsby, to whom without mercy. The cruel reality smashed Gatsby’s dream. Fitzgerald’s comment on the failure of Gatsby’s dream was also a statement on the failure of American dream. The contrast of the dream and the reality significantly indicated a moving away from faith and hope in a world where material interests had driven out sentimentality and faith. What is more, dream, even if it persists, is utterly helpless and defenseless against a material society. It can only be defeated. Gatsby was an example. Owing to his unrealistic dream, Gatsby’s fate turned out to be a tragedy. Because he was not conscious of his unrealistic dream of love and he did not correctly handle contradictions between ideal and reality, Gatsby sunk into this kind of unreal dream so deeply that he can’t wake up. And the final result of Gatsby was surely miserable.

  The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s finest novel. “sensitive and symbolic treatment of themes of contemporary life related with irony and pathos to the legendry of the American dream.” ——《The Oxford Companion to American Literature》

  The sharp contrast between dream and reality not only explains Gatsby’s failure at the end, it also explains the meaninglessness of that age. In a word, these contrasts provide the readers with a panorama of 1920s. And in the contrast, the theme of the novel ----the disillusion of the American dream ----is strengthened. In the mean time,the loss of the American dream reflects the corruption of people’s morality.