Gatsbys Dream Essay

1310 words - 5 pages

What is the American Dream? In the Webster's New World Dictionary, dream is defined as: "a fanciful vision of the conscious mind; a fond hope or aspiration; anything lovely, etc." In F. Scott Fitzerald's novel The Great Gatsby, the lead character Jay Gatsby defines the American Dream as: everyone can rise to success no matter what his or her beginnings. In the First chapter of the novel, Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story gives us a glimpse into Gatsby's idealistic dream. "No-Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dream…."(6) Gatsby lives in a fantasy world that he has created base on his dream, and his dream has elicited several qualities in Gatsby. Such dream and qualities make Gatsby appear to be the "knight in the shining armor." However, such dreams and qualities also lead Gatsby to his tragic end.For one thing, Gatsby is amoral in many ways. First, he is a crook, a bootlegger who has involved himself with swindlers like Meyer Wolfshime, "the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919."(78) Secondly, he is dishonest, because he tells lies about himself. "I am the son of some wealthy people in the middle-west-all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition."(69) Lastly, he spends his money like pouring water. He held expensive parties, owns a huge mansion, a Rolls Royce, two motor boats, aquaplanes, a swimming pool (ironically that he has never used it except the day he has died), and a flashy wardrobe including a pink suit. Gatsby's materialism is not something to praise about. However, all of his amoral actions are caused by one purpose, which is to fulfill his dream. Gatsby has committed crime in order to gain the life style and buy the mansion to impress Daisy. "…he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from [Daisy's] well-loved eyes."(96) Also, Gatsby lies about himself because he wants those lies to be true, and in a way, he even believes those lies are true. Furthermore, his materialism is also one of Gatsby's ways to approach his dream. He only held many expensive parties in the hope that Daisy might show up at one of them. Jordan has said, "I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties some night, …but she never did."(84) After all, Gatsby's amoral ways are all due to his devotion to his innocent and romantic dream.The second quality that Gatsby possesses is his sole devotion to his dream. He is faithful to his dream till the very end, and the dream is embodied in Daisy. Gatsby loves what Daisy represents rather than Daisy. He admits to Nick after near the end of the story that Daisy might have loved Tom, but "in any case," "it was just personal."(160) To Gatsby, "personal" love is not important. His love for Daisy is not "personal," because Daisy is only the tangible form...

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