The Dream

The Dream

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A dream is defined as a condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration. Throughout the book the “Great Gatsby” we see the dream of one man, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s dream is not merely what is known as the American Dream-the belief that anyone can rise to success no matter who they are or where they are from. Instead, it is a form of romantic idealism, “some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life.” It is the belief in fairytales and princesses and happy endings, a faith that life can be special, remarkable, and beautiful. Gatsby is not interested in power or money instead he uses his power and money in his attempt to gain his ultimate dream, Daisy. He must have her and he will do anything that is required in order to win her. Unfortunately, Gatsby’s faith in love and happy endings is not a realistic one and his dream is ultimately crushed. However, one question is left behind, are dreams worth fighting for or should the fear of failure prevent one from attempting to fulfill their dreams.
     In chapter I the reader is briefly introduced to Gatsby’s world. Nick describes Gatsby with such words as “crass and vulgar materialism”. However he admires Gatsby for his dream, his “romantic readiness,” his “extraordinary gift for hope.” What is this dream Nick admires so much? The reader is left with this question until chapter IV when Jordan Baker reveals Gatsby’s past and ultimately his dream. Jordan reveals to Nick that Gatsby and Daisy were one time lovers but Gatsby was suddenly called away to war and by the time he arrived home Daisy had already married Tom. Furthermore, Jordan explains, “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.” Nick shocked by what he has just learned states “he came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.” The large mansion, the Rolls Royce, station wagon, the motor boats, the aquaplanes, the swimming pool were not to display his wealth, but instead he just used them as a setting to build the material world necessary to fulfill his dream. He not only has built up a material world to attract Daisy he has come up with a plan to win her love.
This plan is unfolded in Chapter IV, when the reader learns that Gatsby has arranged for Nick to invite Daisy for tea and makes sure Daisy doesn’t know he’ll be there, too.

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Nick agrees with the plan and thus asks Daisy over for tea. Once Daisy arrives Gatsby, either to nervous or anxious, leaves the house only to come around through the front door. When he finally comes in he is filled with nerves and can barely speak. However, Gatsby finally settles down and later on is described with such words as “glowed”, “new well-being,” and “radiated.” He has seemingly come alive and his plan is working to perfection. Soon the scene shifts to Gatsby’s house where it is now time to show off his money. Daisy admires everything Gatsby has built for her including the house, gardens, the rooms, the colors etc. The chapter ends with Gatsby’s dream, turning from fantasy to reality as he gets Daisy in a room with him alone, oh what the imagination can think of.
Gatsby’s dream, which seemed inevitable, came to a crashing halt in chapter VII leaving him “standing there in the moonlight-watching over nothing.” Gatsby has won Daisy; he has called off his parties, fired his servants and now has all of his attention has been shifted toward Daisy. Daisy too seems to be in love with Gatsby, which is probably why she visits him every afternoon. However, the lifestyle her family and Tom have setup for her is too much for Gatsby to overcome. She, unlike Gatsby cannot live for love instead; she needs the protected world her money has given her. Gatsby soon learns that love and lifestyle are two different things and it is the latter, which prevents Daisy from ever leaving Tom or his money. The war between love and materialism takes place between Gatsby and Tom. This is caused because Tom feels the need to challenge Gatsby if he wants to keep Daisy. Tom mocks Gatsby’s past and present lifestyle, he seemingly pushes Gatsby in to a corner in which Gatsby can only respond with “Your wife doesn’t love you, she’s never loved you, she loves me.” The two men go back and forth begging for Daisy’s support. Slowly but quietly you see Daisy slip back into the protective camp of her husband. Love is worth less then the security of a husband. Gatsby’s dream has been killed.
Should dreams be followed? Should the chance of failure prevent you from living your life? Are dreams just anti-climactical events that make up life? Well in the eyes of Jay Gatsby and especially in the eyes of most humans the answer is a resounding NO! Dreams are what motivate us to wake up in the morning, to get over a bad week, dreams let humans fantasize about a life revolving around the words what if? Dreams are what let such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi believe that one day everyone will be equal and all will be peaceful. Due to the fact we live in a world where not all dreams can come true it is the chance of failure that make it all the more sweeter when a dream is accomplished. In conclusion, dreams are worth fighting for, and should always be seen to the end because you never know what the outcome of a dream will be if you wake up before it is over.
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