Dreams and Corrupt Societies in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

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All humans have dreams and goals for their future that they wish to someday turn into reality. Dreams are different for every person, and some dreams are greater and grander than others, but they are all similar in that humans live for dreams because humans innately crave a better tomorrow. While many people do achieve their ultimate goals within their lifetimes, some people have unattainable dreams that are destined for failure. Two quintessential American novels, The Great Gatsby and the Catcher in the Rye, recount the stories of two hopeful young men with lofty plans, Jay Gatsby and Holden Caulfield. Both of these utopian young men possess impossible, unreachable dreams; Gatsby desires to rewind his life so that he may enjoy it with his beloved Daisy instead of losing her while at war, and Holden wishes for time to halt altogether so that he must not face the challenge of growing up and becoming an adult in a cruel society. Through the example of both of their tragic stories, it is evident that humans often rely too heavily on dreams, and when these vital dreams fail because of corrupt societies, they lose touch with reality and fall into despair and defeat.
After finally reconnecting with the now married Daisy years after they were separated by the war, Jay Gatsby is determined to win her back and continue their relationship where they left off years before. Despite all the odds clearly against him, as he is of poor blood and low social status compared to Tom, Gatsby “had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart” (Fitzgerald 95-6). Ga...

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...ociety around them, which is often corrupt and does not treat everyone fairly. Like their owners, dreams fail because society fails them.
Dreams can be powerful and inspiring, yet when taken too far, they can be toxic to one’s happiness and even fatal in Gatsby’s case. Reality, on the other hand, is always trustworthy, and it is wiser to simply accept and adjust to the faults and imperfections of a society rather than to try to fight them like Holden and Gatsby did. Both men were unwilling to relinquish their precious dreams, yet in the end, that no longer mattered because society took them anyway and annihilated them. The downfall of both these characters demonstrates the importance of staying grounded and never veering too far off the path of reality, because dreams alone cannot serve as a sufficient foundation on which to build a prosperous, fruitful life.

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