Nostalgia Essay

1470 words - 6 pages

Sharma 1Dakshya SharmaCedroneENG4UOJuly 21, 2013It Was Only A DreamThe American dream can be defined as the desire to live a comfortable life of opportunity, safety and good health with your family. The roaring twenties was a time when people dared to dream of more. The common man dreamt of immense wealth, a high social status and a respect that can be gained through hard work. In Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Gatsby's dreams had been too grand and extraordinary to be attainable. Jay Gatsby's dreams go beyond just material wealth, he dreams of the respect, class and sophistication that he could never experience due to his lowly family background. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby's early ambitions, his pursuit of Daisy, the symbolism of the green light and his bitter end suggest that the American dream only exists as an imagined idealistic circumstance that once attained… is diminished.From the very beginning of his manhood, Gatsby dreamt impractical dreams, the image of which led him to live a made up life. He never accepted who he was or where he came from. While describing his hidden background Nick says, "His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination had never accepted them as his parents at all" (Fitzgerald, 95). Gatsby's dream had been to live a wealthy, uncommon life and was willing to work hard to achieve this but his disregard for his family background could not lead him to achieve an honest dream. His dreams had been unrealistic and therefore unattainable, yet he sought after them. When imagining his future, Gatsby dreams of an almost supernatural outcome: "For a while there reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded upon a fairy's wing" (Fitzgerald, 96). Gatsby did not realize that his dreams were becoming fictitious. This unawareness caused him to hold great expectations of positive emotions when he does achieve those dreams but for the same reason he was always unsatisfied no matter how successful he became for he had built his wealth by immoral means and a counterfeit persona. He became someone completely founded on imaginings. He accepted the imitation of himself that he had created. As Nick describes, "…the vague contour of Jay Gatsby had filled out to the substantiality of a man" (Fitzgerald, 97). Eventually Gatsby became a holographic character that was completely indulged in his unrealistic American dream. When he does attain the wealth and glamour he once dreams of, he has obtained it by immoral means which ultimately leads to his downfall. His false sense of self does not allow him to develop principles or values that could be followed. Gatsby dreamt of a lavish life like many Americans but his dreams had been too grand and full of anticipation to the point at which he began to live as an invention of his dreams.The green light in The Great Gatsby symbolizes Gatsby's...

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