November 25, 2013
Gatsby’s and America’s Dream
Live life in the present and seize every opportunity is the greatest of all themes shown by author F.Scott Fitzgerald. In the Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby has failed to understand that youthful dreams are no longer possible and any attempts to recapture them will be futile. Throughout the novel Gatsby is in search of every opportunity to relive the past, in hopes of picking up where he left off. Gatsby’s dreams is related to that of the “American Dream” that is also just a dream and a thought planted in ones mind but is not real, it does not exist. He searches for Daisy, his past lover, hoping to attract her back to him through his wealth. She has become his obsession and motivation to become wealthy and sociable. All of Gatsby’s surroundings are evidence that he longs to recapture the past, and Fitzgerald is saying many people use wealth and material things to attempt to reach that “American Dream”, but just like Gatsby, that dream is only left at that, a dream that will never come. It gives Gatsby a sense of hope which leads to false happiness, and disillusion in the end.
Gatsby met Daisy when he was a soldier during World War I. He is attracted to her because he believes she is the ideal woman; she is rich, beautiful, and vivacious. To him she lived, “ high in a white palace, the king’s daughter, the golden girl.” At the time Gatsby related wealth and materials things to happiness, since he figured having money and living like a princess was the ideal women instead of looking at what really matters in people and actually leads to happiness. He had made an acquaintance with her and soon they were dating, “passionately in love“ according to Gatsby. Soon he is stationed in Europe and is forced to leave his love behind. Daisy promises to wait for his arrival. However, when Gatsby returns to the States he is devastated to learn that his true love has married and is traveling on her honeymoon. Fitzgerald is telling us that people would marry and spend their life with another person simply due to economic status, and would be in search of the wealthy and upper class to name them the ideal person. Daisy is also enchanted by Tom’s wealth and money and decides to give up waiting on Gatsby, which was her “true love”, and this shows us that in society people would even give up their feelings of love, for the satisfaction of being rich and wealthy.
The heart-broken Gatsby devises a plan that he believes will surely bring Daisy back to him, and that is Gatsby “dream”. He involves himself in shady dealings and businesses. From these corrupt jobs he is able to build a fortune in only three years. Fitzgerald is showing us that people would even go to criminal extends to reach their “American dream”, so at any costs to obtain that wealth that people are believed to respect more than anything else. He buys an enormous house that is a monument to the past. It resembles a châteaux from Normandy, France. The inside is no exception; each room is decorated like a replica of different epochs in time. His obsession for the past and wealth is not only superficial, for he tries to recreate the past with his own lifestyle as well.
At night Gatsby is noticed reaching towards a green light with great reverence on the other side of the water. Gatsby’s perseverance and dedication to finding Daisy have led him to the green light. The green light is a symbol of his desire to recapturing his youthful dreams and a reference to the “American dream“ of society. The green light belongs to Daisy, and Gatsby knows this. He aspires to fully reaching it one day and not just from afar, and this is Gatsby’s great vision for himself and his dream. In his mind he believes thanks to what all he has and the wealth he has managed to obtain, it will make Daisy come back to him a lot easier.
Further attempts to bringing Daisy to his side include