Aspiration And Greatness In The Great Gatsby

1711 Words7 Pages
Aspirations and Greatness; The Case of Gatsby

Dedication and tenacity are examples of traits that achieve a societal label for the amount of effort shown towards attaining goals and dreams. Through his work, The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald uses the protagonist, Jay Gatsby, to demonstrate an the American Dream and greatness. Gatsby is a mysterious character, commonly mistaken as a mere criminal; but actually his is a victim of his perseverance and the American Dream. In spite of his criminal activities, the book portrays Gatsby as much more than a thug, an individual stopping at nothing to obtain his dream. While Jay Gatsby never fully achieves the American Dream, his marked determination towards it earns him the appropriate title, The
…show more content…
The Great Gatsby shows the reader that an individual can start at the bottom with only a dream and come out on top with success. Originally, the exuberant Jay Gatsby was the destitute James Gatz. Born poor, James Gatz runs away from the family farm to become wealthy. Luck comes, as young Gatz is working on a boat, and sees a yacht about to hit some rocks. Gatz seizes this opportunity to invent Jay Gatsby, “James Gatz – that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and at the specific moment that he had witnessed the beginning of his career when he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior” (Gatsby, 98). Gatsby swims over to the yacht and saves both the owner and ship. Dan Cody, the yacht 's owner is old money and the picture of what young Gatsby aspire to achieves. Out of gratitude for saving his life Cody takes young Gatsby under his wing and teaches him the ways of the wealthy. Flash forward to the future. Cody dies and Gatsby is left with nothing again, but soon makes it rich by mostly bootlegging. Gatsby tried to create distance from his impoverished past by transforming himself from the poor farm boy, James Gatz, to Jay Gatsby, the rich entrepreneur. Gatsby did what so…show more content…
Gatsby ultimately wants to be accepted by the wealthy social class and Daisy but it will never happen because of his true past. The rumors surrounding his hidden past further this idea, in the beginning of the book only speculative imaginative theories flourish. One speculative theory by the Owl Eyed Man however, is correct, "It 's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella 's a regular Belasco. It 's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism! Knew when to stop, too – didn 't cut the pages”(Gatsby, 49). The Owl Eyed Man sees through Gatsby 's elaborate wealth and fake identity, and tells the reader that Gatsby is a fake that is hiding something. Daisy may love Gatsby, but her social standards will inhibit the relationship. Gatsby knows this, and creates a past that will fit those social standards, creating an unstable and suspicious background saying he was old money, a war hero, and an Oxford graduate. None of which are validated until the truth about his past starts haunting him. As Gatsby’s starts see Daisy, the green light starts to vanish, “Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that green light had now vanished forever”(Gatsby, 93). The green light vanishing symbolizes the achievement of his dream. The short lived success of his dream that is killed as Daisy finds out the truth about his
Get Access