The principal character, Jay Gatsby, becomes obsessed with achieving great wealth and securing the affections of Daisy Buchanan. He soon realizes that Daisy, like many young women of the time, is only interested in men with great wealth and high social standing. In order to gain her love Gatsby reinvents his past. Instead of the poor farm boy he really was, he claims to come from a wealthy family and was planning to attend Oxford at the end of the war. “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West-all dead now,” (Fitzgerald, 65). Daisy, who is at last persuaded of Gatsby’s wealth, agrees to wait for him while he is off fighting the war. However, she meets young Tom Buchanan, who is very wealthy and socially prominent, and soon marries him.
Gatsby has dreamed of nothing but Daisy and the life they will have after he returns from the war. In his fantasies she has become the personification of the perfect woman in all aspects. Of course Daisy is not even close to perfection as is evidenced by the ease with which she abandons one suitor for another. Gatsby...
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...haracter even though Gatsby would never know it.
Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream, which on its face, was not so different than anyone else’s dream, had a glaring flaw. Daisy was nothing like the way he saw her. She was not ideal in any way. She had no morals, no empathy, and ultimately no love for Gatsby. An argument can be made that she was a product of the times, however, that argument does not stand up to the test of what is right and moral. The American Dream, when achieved through money and power by whatever means necessary, is doomed to fail just as Gatsby’s dream failed. When immoral and unjust methods are employed to achieve social status and supposed happiness it becomes quickly apparent that neither happiness nor morality will be the result.
Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 1925
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