The Great Gatsby: Chasing Dreams

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The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tells the story of a man of meager wealth who chases after his dreams, only to find them crumble before him once he finally reaches them. Young James Gatz had always had dreams of being upper class, he didn't only want to have wealth, but he wanted to live the way the wealthy lived. At a young age he ran away from home; on the way he met Dan Cody, a rich sailor who taught him much of what he would later use to give the world an impression that he was wealthy. After becoming a soldier, Gatsby met an upper class girl named Daisy - the two fell in love. When he came back from the war Daisy had grown impatient of waiting for him and married a man named Tom Buchanan. Gatsby now has two coinciding dreams to chase after - wealth and love. Symbols in the story, such as the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, the contrast between the East Egg and West Egg, and the death of Myrtle, Gatsby, and Wilson work together to expose a larger theme in the story. Gatsby develops this idea that wealth can bring anything - status, love, and even the past; but what Gatsby doesn't realize is that wealth can only bring so much, and it’s this fatal mistake that leads to the death of his dreams. The green light at the end of the Buchanan’s dock symbolizes Gatsby’s lust for wealth and power, and also his dream of having Daisy. The interpretation that stands out the most of any is that green is the color of money, therefore Gatsby’s motivations are fueled by the wealthy status of someone on the East Egg that he would wish to have as well. However, just like his dreams, the light is very “minute and far away” (30). Gatsby throws lavish parties, lives his life in luxury, and fools himself into believing he is upper c... ... middle of paper ... ...m once — but I loved you too.” (171). It is in this moment of shock that Gatsby realizes that all he has dreamt up for his future was actually his past. On the other hand, Daisy manages to face the reality of life and live in the present. Gatsby’s death is a representation of his failed dreams. The last thing that Gatsby’s best friend, Nick, manages to say to him before he is murdered is, “They’re a rotten crowd, you’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” (198). This shows that Gatsby, even though he is wealthy, has a lot more to look to in his life than others. It isn't exactly a compliment, but it certainly states that he is better than the rest. However, the thing that kills Gatsby is his desire for intangible things like love and status, which he believed he could acquire with wealth alone. His death is the symbol of his inability to live up to his dreams.

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