In Search Of A Dream/Clash Wit Essay, Research Paper
In Search of a Dream/Clash with Reality
A dream is a vision, a vision different for each man on the earth. Some dream of the past, events they cannot change, either with horror and shame at their choices or resting content in the preludes to their happiness and glory. Others, knowing their past, look to the future for their greatness or failure to come. One must be careful, though, that these dreams, past or future, do not obscure reality; that one doesn t only see what he wishes to see. The consequences are dire. Indeed, one is often left with nothing. F. Scott Fitzgerald knew this for he, himself, was a self-made victim of it and he incorporated it into his novel The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the book, knew what he wanted though he subconsciously denied reality and still thought he could realize that dream. Fitzgerald uses wonderful symbolism of these dreams and denial of truth to reach them in the Valley of Ashes and in Gatsby s death.
First, the Valley of the Ashes serves this purpose well. The trash of the city is taken and burned, reduced to ashes of what was. The fires of Gatsby s life are his dreams his love for Daisy and his zest for the material life they burn hot and bright but eventually all that is left are the ashes and dust, a return where man came from. Gatsby s fires flicker and die when his money is revealed as coming from illegal activities and when Daisy decides that she loves her husband, Tom, and won t leave him for Gatsby. Nothing is left but that which can be scattered with a gust of wind.
Gatsby s own death is deep with the same symbolism of dreams and their fight with what is real. On the hottest day in the summer, Gatsby went for a swim in his pool that he had never before used. He was shot and killed while he was in it. The burning hot summer was his passion for Daisy and life, what he thought were the realization of his dreams. Taking a dip in the pool at the peak (the hottest day) of this dream takes the heat off, squelching it and ultimately leaves him with nothing, not even his life.
Gatsby, like all men, had a dream. His was of the future, so he did what he thought he should to make the dream come true. His dreams of Daisy and wealth, however, were more fantasy than reachable dream and he let this fantasy dream cloud his reason. Because of this, he was left with nothing. All mankind can fully reach their dreams but one s head must be involved just as much as one s heart is in order to realize those dreams. Should one not do this all he would be left with would be the residue from the clash with reality memories and ash.