Gatsby's Dream. The Central Character Of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

778 words - 3 pages

Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby symbolizes the American dream. The American dream offers faith in the possibility of a better life. Its attendant illusion is the belief that material wealth alone can bring that dream to fruition. Through Gatsby, Fitzgerald brings together both these ideas. Jay Gatsby thinks money is the answer to anything he encounters. He has the best of everything. The fanciest car, the largest house, and the finest clothes. Jay has everything except the object he most desires, Daisy. Gatsby believes he can win Daisy over with wealth, that he could achieve the ideal she stood for through his material possessions.One look at Gatsby's past and it could be seen that he was destined to get ahead in life. Mr. Gatz told Nick, "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once and I beat him for it" (182). Gatsby's determination to gain a large bankroll is a huge part of the American dream. He believes that once he achieved his financial goal it would lead to a better life.In America the car is one of the greatest status symbols. Gatsby's gorgeous machine is one of the most majestic cars created. Nick's comments on the vehicle describe its luster, "...and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes...Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of leather conservatory we started towards town" (68). The use of the symbolic automobile can be seen as a demonstration of how an ideal based on materialism alone can be destructive. This was the fatal car which kills Myrtle Wilson and indirectly leads to Gatsby's death.Appearance is another important factor toward Gatsby's dream. In his quest to win Daisy's heart Gatsby chooses to wear his best outfit. "...the front door opened nervously and Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold colored tie hurried in" (89). Silver and gold are the colors of wealth, Gatsby's sartorial splendor is as lavish as any of the other items he owns. Gatsby's shirts are more then just garments towards Gatsby. They...

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