Dreams In The Great Gatsby By F.Scott Fitzgerald

2433 words - 10 pages

A dream is an intangible paradise. In the heavenly world of a dream, all hopes are within reach, and time knows no defined direction. To dream is to believe in the existence of the limitless realm. To dream is to be consumed by the passion and beauty of life, for although a dream may never become a reality, the true substance of a dream is its place in the heart. Jay Gatsby is a dreamer. He believes that the future can return him to his past and to his love, Daisy. Time blocks Gatsby’s dream, for Daisy has made Gatsby a mere memory by marrying Tom Buchanan. Tom and Daisy have minor conflicts with time that parallel Gatsby’s principal struggle with time, yet Gatsby’s dream emerges as the distinguishing factor of his conflict. When challenging the natural course of time, a dream, created by the intricate workings of the mind, and a simple memory of the past cannot be attained with the greatness of their origin. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s destruction and the death of his undying dream are intensified through the magnification of the conflicts found in the characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan.

By dreaming, Jay Gatsby develops a false world that can never completely capture the grandeur of its original place in time. An attraction exists between Gatsby and the past, for Gatsby’s past holds the source of the dream that molds the individual he becomes. Thus, the beginning of Jay Gatsby is marked by the beginning of his dream when he falls in love with Daisy Fay. "He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God" (Fitzgerald 112). From this moment, Gatsby is forever held captive by his dream of Daisy and their love. Imprisoned by his heart, Gatsby is never free from Daisy, for he incessantly works toward renewing their relationship after Daisy marries Tom Buchanan. Such dreams as Gatsby’s seem without hope, but explaining how a dream always contains some form of possibility, critic Kenneth Eble writes, "[. . .] the vision is not in itself false; and the truth does gleam there at the center [. . .]" (36: 94). As its "truth" (Eble 36: 94), Gatsby’s mind takes Daisy from reality and places her into a great dream that can never exist because Daisy will never remain exactly as he dreams her. Gatsby’s hope that in the future he can repeat the past places him in conflict with time, for he is trying to return to the past, where fragments of what became his dream survive. Somewhere in time, these fragments of Gatsby’s dream wait patiently, silently, knowing that they can never be found.

Even though achieving the former magnificence of the foundations of his dream is impossible, Gatsby strives to relive his past with Daisy. From the instant he falls in love with Daisy, all of Gatsby’s actions are directed toward overcoming the barriers that separate them. As a poor boy in love with the wealthy Daisy, Gatsby overcomes the obstacle of money by...

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