The Great Gatsby: The American Dream

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The Great Gatsby:
The American Dream

"Their love is founded upon feelings from the past, these give it, notwithstanding Gatsby's insistence on being able to repeat the past, an inviolability. It exists in the world of money and corruption but is not of it."

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the American Dream, and the demise of those who attempt to capture its false goals. For Jay, the dream is that, through wealth and power, one can obtain happiness. To get this happiness Jay must reach into the past and relive an old dream and in order to do this he must have wealth and power.
Jay Gatsby, the central figure of the story, is a character who longs for the past. He devotes most of his adult life trying to recapture it and, eventually dying in its pursuit. In the past, Gatsby had a love affair with the beautiful and seemingly innocent Daisy. Knowing he could not marry her because of the difference in their social status, he leaves her to accumulate his wealth so that he reaches her economic and social standards. Once he acquires this wealth, he moves just across the bay from her and her husband, Tom. At this mansion, he throws extravagant parties, hoping by chance that Daisy might show up at one of them. He does not actually attend his parties but watches them from a distance. When this attempt fails, he asks around casually if anyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, his neighbor and fortunately a cousin of Daisy, who agrees to set up a meeting.
Later, during a confrontation in the Plaza Hotel, Gatsby still believes that Daisy loves him. He is convinced of this as is shown when he takes the blame for Myrtle's death even though it had been Daisy who was driving. He also watches and protects Daisy as she returns home that night after all the secret affairs come unfolded, agreeing to stay all night waiting outside her house if Tom tries anything.
Gatsby cannot accept that the past is gone and done with. Gatsby is sure that he can capture his dream with wealth and influence. He believes that he went beyond his personal interest and that should guarantee success.
Nick attempts to show Gatsby the flaw of his dream, but Gatsby innocently replies to Nick's statement that the past cannot be relived by saying, "Can't repeat the past?
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