The Great Gatsby: Too good to be true Essay

Submitted By aandrisani
Words: 1181
Pages: 5

Sometimes, the desire for something is a greater satisfaction than actually obtaining it. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby creates a dream for himself that revolves around Daisy Buchanan, the love of his life from five years prior. Gatsby attempted to build himself up to Daisy’s level in the upper class society by throwing lavish parties in his mega mansion just hoping that one day she will stop by and fall in love with him once more. Daisy’s mansion is uncoincidentally directly across the bay from Gatsby’s, and from his dock he can see a green light, in the distance, attached to Daisy’s house. Jay’s fixation on the green light represents his hope that one day he and Daisy will be together again. Gatsby does win Daisy back, but remains unhappy. Gatsby’s fantasizing left him out of touch with reality so when he finally obtained his dream of having Daisy, it did not live up to his high expectations and ultimately failed him. The green light, representing Daisy as well as Gatsby’s dream, is unattainable from the start, for Jay’s desire to repeat the past and the clashing backgrounds of the societies Daisy and Gatsby belong to, prove Jay Gatsby’s expectations too good to be true. Jay Gatsby was unhappy from the very start. Gatsby was born under the name James Gatz, in a rural town in North Dakota. Soon after dropping out of college, Gatz met Dan Cody, who became his mentor and taught him the ways of the wealthy. James Gatz then changed his name to Jay Gatsby and Cody died shortly after. In training for World War I, Gatsby met Daisy Fay, who represented everything he was not; rich. Gatsby and Daisy fell in love but were forced to depart due to the War. Daisy married Tom Buchanan during Gatsby’s time overseas. Once Gatsby heard the news of Daisy’s marriage, he decided to devote his whole life to becoming the kind of man whose wealth and position in society was worthy of Daisy's love. Gatsby’s passion towards Daisy was the base of Gatsby’s dream. Money, success and acceptance were also a part of Gatsby’s dream, because in order to win Daisy’s love he would have to build himself up to her level in society. Once those three were accomplished, he hoped for a miracle. Gatsby moved directly across the bay from Daisy, in West Egg where new money folk lived. Gatsby threw very lavish parties, hoping to lure Daisy in, impress her with his wealth and success and win her love back. Attached to Daisy’s house was a green light. At night, Gatsby would stand outside on his dock and admire the green light, reaching out towards it as if it were Daisy herself. “... he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way… a single green light, minute and far away…” (Fitzgerald 20) The narrator makes the green light seem impossible to reach, just as Gatsby’s dream of Daisy seemed. Gatsby’s dream is important because it is the whole embodiment of his character. Gatsby built himself up from rags to riches under a separate identity in order to achieve his dream, the classic American Dream. Yet, Gatsby lived under a facade of lies and crime in order to achieve his dream. Gatsby’s whole life is revolved around his dream, to the point where he needs it to be absolutely perfect. Although he is doubted by many, he remained hopeful and that is why his dream was a significant part of who he was, and also making him the one exception to Nick’s hatred for the people of the East. In the novel, Nick described Gatsby as being credited with an “extraordinary gift of hope.” Although Daisy was married to another man, Gatsby remained hopeful that he she would still fall in love with him just as she did 5 years prior. For a brief period, Gatsby believed he finally made his dreams come true. Yet, there is no way Daisy could ever possibly live up to the expectations Gatsby built for their relationship. Gatsby’s major problem was that he was stuck in the past. When Nick confronted Gatsby by telling him that he