The Great Gatsby

House Versus Home in The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, both authors use their characters’ living space, the house, as a metaphor for the attainability of the American Dream of security, wealth, and happiness. In the American Dream, the house—the living space—demonstrates the social class and degree to which the Dream has been physically attained. The home, however – the dynamic among the people living in the house—demonstrates the happiness and fulfillment truly attained. Because of the emphasis on material things that was necessary for these characters to get their houses in the first place, neither are able to make their house into a home because of the misguided focus on material success.

In The Great Gatsby, the title character’s house and the parties that it hosts are wildly extravagant. The narrator, Nick, describes Gatsby’s mansion as “a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden” (Fitzgerald 5). Gatsby has seemingly attained his American Dream of love and happiness because he is rich and powerful—even after Gatsby’s...

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