The Dissolution of a Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Dissolution of a Dream in The Great Gatsby

A dream is defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary as: a

fanciful vision of the conscious mind; a fond hope or aspiration; anything

so lovely, transitory, etc. as to seem dreamlike. In the beginning pages

of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, the

narrator of the story gives us a glimpse into Gatsby's idealistic dream

which is later disintegrated. "No- Gatsby turned out all right at the end;

it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his

dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and

short-winded elation's of men." Gatsby is revealed to us slowly and

skillfully, and with a keen tenderness which in the end makes his tragedy

a deeply moving one.

Jay Gatsby is a crook, a bootlegger who has involved himself with

swindlers like Meyer Wolfsheim, the man who fixed the 1919 World Series.

He has committed crimes in order to buy the house he feels he needs to win

the woman he loves. In chapter five Nick says, "...and I think he

revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it

drew from her well-loved eyes." Everything in Gatsby's house is the zenith

of his dreams, and when Daisy enters Gatsby's house the material things

seem to lose their life. Daisy represents a dreamlike, heavenly presence

which all that he has is devoted to. Yes, we should consider Jay Gatsby

as tragic figure because of belief that he can restore the past and live

happily, but his distorted faith is so intense that he blindly unaware of

realism that his dream lacks. Gatsby has accumulated his ...

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..., Gatsby but Gatsby was a man who had hopes and aspirations.

He was a child, who believed in a childish thing.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Douglas, Ann. Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995.

Fielder, Leslie. "Some Notes on F. Scott Fitzgerald." Mizener 70-76.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner Classic, 1986.

Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Extremes. New York: Pantheon, 1994.

Posnock, Ross. "'A New World, Material Without Being Real': Fitzgerald's Critique of Capitalism in The Great Gatsby." Critical Essays on Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby." Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: Hall, 1984. 201-13.

Trilling, Lionel. "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Critical Essays on Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby." Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: Hall, 1984. 13-20.

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