The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about the American Dream. In the Great Gatsby, the dream is that one can acquire happiness through wealth and power. To get his happiness Jay attempts to reacquire the love of his lost sweet heart, Daisy. The main problem with Jay's dream is that Daisy is married. Gatsby's personal dream symbolizes the larger American Dream 'The pursuit of happiness'.
Jay Gatsby longs for the past. Surprisingly he devotes his adult life trying to recapture it and dies in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a love affair with a young rich girl, Daisy. Daisy and Jay had fallen in love with each other in spite of knowing that they could not marry because of the difference in their social status. For the first time in Jay?s life he was truly happy. During their courtship, Jay was sent off to war. Upon returning from the war, Jay found out that Daisy had married a wealthy man by the name of Tom Buchannon. Jay then spends his life acquiring wealth to reach her economic standards, in hope that he can marry her and rekindle the happiness that he once had.
His love for Daisy was impossible in society because "he was at present a penniless young man without a past?he had no comfortable family standing behind him" (156). Gatsby encounters his dream of love at this point of his life. He knew that at that time a relationship of love was impossible with Daisy due to his low social standing. Gatsby became determined to breach that gap between them in order to have a loving relationship with Daisy. He did reach the physical circumstances necessary to love her, but he had focused too much on money and power the previous five years of his life. He wanted his love with Daisy to flourish. Unfortunately, he had lost the ability to love. He no longer possessed moral integrity or the ability to handle a relationship.
Society is often broken up into different social groups by their economic status. Those of lower classes believe that their problems will go away if they can gain enough wealth to reach the upper class. Many people believe that the American Dream is this joining of the upper class, and once reaching that point, not having to be concerned about money at all. The logic behind this is that being poor keeps people from being happy, a...
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... past. And finally, Jay?s dream was his own death, in that the rest of his life was spent trying to relive the past. His dream consumed his life so much that it had changed him to the point where he was no longer a human. He was more of a zombie who was driven to do anything it would take to realize his dream.
The Great Gatsby as he came to be known, was just a young boy who wanted love more than anything else in life. His strong ambition, and immoral ways to achieve his dream took him to his grave. His life in this story is one of constantly wanting what other people have, whether it is money, social standing, or another man?s wife. It is my belief that is what F. Scott Fitzgerald wants us to take home with us. The dangers of coveting what other people have.
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Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1996). The Great Gatsby The Authorized Text. New York, NY: