Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
Gatsby s Dream
Improvement, wealth, popularity, and love are only a few pieces of the American
Dream. This dream has varying significance for different people, but in The Great Gatsby,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby s dream is unfolded. Through improving himself with
the wealth he acquirers, then gaining the popularity of various people with the extravagant
parties he has, Gatsby hopes to gain the love of Daisy. But the most important part to this
list is the fact that the American Dream is exactly that, a mere dream. This quest Gatsby
so passionately pressed became a never-ending circle that ultimately cost him his life. That
is why I see Gatsby s dream as a failure.
Gatsby had an almost heavenly rise from Jay Gantz beating his way along the
south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and salmon fisherman to the Great Gatsby
housed in a colossal affair by any standard… with a tower on one side… a marble
swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. The American Dream
Gastby possesses is hidden from plain view at first. The reader is first under the impression
that money and the display of power is Gatsby s dream. Surprisingly enough, this amazing
wealth was not the focus of Gatsby s dream, but instead just a lure for the lady of his
dream. His colossal affair of a home was situated directly across the bay from Daisy s
house, maybe in hopes she would notice the numerous extravagant parties there, and by
chance stop by. Gatsby himself does not attend the parties but watches from a distance,
and when his hopes of Daisy dropping by fade, he asks around if anyone knows her.
Gatsby felt the need for social acceptance, a sense of popularity. His lavish parties
made him quite well known, parties where strangers came and went without actually ever
meeting Gatsby at all. Another example was the replacement dress Gatsby bought for
Lucille after she tore it at one of these extravagant parties. This was all in attempt to gain
the support of people, support much needed to fend off accusations that he once killed a
man or he was a German spy during the war. All of this once again in vain, for the day
of his funeral a mere four people, plus the servants, showed up to pay their final respects
to a man that had opened his doors to them on so many occasions.
All of the presiding pieces of the American Dream were second in Gatsby s mind
to love, the love he held for Daisy Buchanan. She was a past love he so deeply wanted to
reunite with, attempting to do so by first improving himself with wealth and popularity.
Nick attempts to point out that the past cannot be relived, but Gatsby innocently replies,
Can t repeat the past?…Why sure you can! This shows the confidence Gatsby has in
reviving his relationship with Daisy. For Gatsby, his American Dream was not the wealth
he possessed, although it seemed that way. He only made millions to fulfill his true dream:
Daisy. All Gatsby had worked for was simply to impress his lady, to win her back. He
seemed to have all the material wealth in the world, but he lacked the emotional wealth he
so greatly desired.
Love is a real pivotal role in the American Dream. It was said that Gatsby re-value
everything in his house in response to Daisy s well loved eyes. When Gatsby and Daisy
become close once again, everything else in his life is second. His huge lawn and garden
become rundown. He even goes as far to fire his servants for fear they might talk of his
childish affair with Daisy and effectively bring an end to the dream like state the two share.
Whether Daisy did truly love him back is unknown. The argument at the Plaza Hotel
brought the whole affair out into the open and ended up in the death of Myrtle Wilson, a
death that Gatsby would take the blame for to protect the one he loved. This could have
been Jay Gatsby s biggest mistake in the quest for achieving his dream. He seemed to
believe that he is acting for a good beyond is personal interest and that should guarantee
his success in effectively reliving the past.
Sadly, his attempts to capture his dream are the factors in his death. Mr. Wilson,
under the wrong impression that Gatsby was driving the car that killed his wife, murders
Gatsby and then turns the gun on himself. This brings the effective end to Gatsby s hopes
of being with Daisy again and spells failure for the never ending dream he held inside of
himself, this dream being the ever so unattainable American Dream. No matter how hard
we try, it will always loom in the distance as a entity so close and so real that we continue
on, day by day, in attempt to achieve it. Or, as Nick concludes the novel, So we beat on,
boats aginst the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.