Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald?s The Great Gatsby symbolizes the
American dream. The American dream offers faith in the possibility of a better life. Its attendant
illusion is the belief that material wealth alone can bring that dream to fruition. Through Gatsby,
Fitzgerald brings together both these ideas. Jay Gatsby thinks money is the answer to anything he
encounters. He has the best of everything. The fanciest car, the largest house, and the finest
clothes. Jay has everything except the object he most desires, Daisy. Gatsby believes he can win
Daisy over with wealth, that he could achieve the ideal she stood for through his material
One look at Gatsby?s past and it could be seen that he was destined to get ahead in life.
Mr. Gatz told Nick, ?Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or
something. Do you notice what he?s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that.
He told me I et like a hog once and I beat him for it? (182). Gatsby?s determination to gain a
large bankroll is a huge part of the American dream. He believes that once he achieved his
financial goal it would lead to a better life.
In America, the car is one of the greatest status symbols. Gatsby?s gorgeous machine is
one of the most majestic cars created. Nick?s comments on the vehicle describe its luster, ?...and
there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes...Sitting
down behind many layers of glass in a sort of leather conservatory we started towards town?
(68). The use of the symbolic automobile can be seen as a demonstration of how a...
... middle of paper ...
...ul. When he met Daisy, his
dream was to be on a level with Daisy, and to show her what he had and to buy her love with
materialistic things. This did not go off without a hitch, for Daisy had married Tom, and with
that came love for him. Although Daisy told Gatsby she loved him, there was still her affection
for Tom. The way the conflicts created by Daisy help the theme are numerous. The most
significant way is that she is the central corruption of Gatsby?s dream. The dream began as a
simple bid for happiness, yet Gatsby was corrupted by money. He wanted money, and he
believed that money would make him happy. When he became rich, his dream then became
focused upon Daisy. Daisy was the only thing (or at least he thought) between him and
Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. Simon and Schuster, New York. 1925.
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