The Great Gatsby is chalked full of metaphors and symbolism for America and what it stands for; however, one theme is addressed time and time again. One must be careful of how far they let themselves slip into the fantasies of their dreams, or they will never be able to resurface. In this statement is where the true point of the story lies. From the social status of the characters, to the setting of the story, and even as far as the colors used to paint the surroundings, you cannot read this book and miss the ultimate point F. Scott Fitzgerald was trying to make. People will go to great lengths to achieve the “American Dream” and inevitably will destroy themselves in the process.
Fitzgerald strategically uses the larger than life personalities of his characters to highlight the corruption that makes up most of the story. “The American dream is the driving force behind all the characters in the story” (C.J Dawson). A main theme is that the dream is not so reachable; not everyone can get everything their heart desires, regardless how hard they strive for it. Furthermore, to “emphasize the corruption of the American dream, all the characters are portrayed as liars of some sort” (Magill 206).
“Gatsby embodies the American dream in the best way possible he quite literally represents America, a land without a past, coming from humble beginnings; however, his whole life is a lie” (C.J Dawson). His name is made up; he lies about his education, and worst of all he lies to himself. That being said, Gatsby is perhaps the only one that puts genuine faith in the idea of the American dream. This results in his fatal flaw of not being able to separate reality from fantasy.
Daisy represents the object of Gatsby’s affection. Metaphorically she is his American dream. “Daisy Buchanan is wealthy and beautiful, with a daughter and a husband, but she longs for attention” (Dawson). To others looking in she seems to embody the American dream, she disagrees. Daisy is probably the most truthful of all the characters, though she lets Gatsby take the blame for Myrtle’s death.
“Jordan Baker is a pathological liar” (Magill 206). She seems to have everything a girl could hope for, money, a career, good looks, but she is not content with her life. “She is not satisfied with her life because she’s not honest” (Dawson). Her American dream was not earned with her sweat, blood, tears; therefore, she can never feel truly happy with what she has achieved.
“Tom Buchanan is already powerful, rich, and has a beautiful wife” (Dawson 1). Is he satisfied, of course not? Tom represents the American mentality of “how can I get more for me?” and “how can I make myself happy?” For example, though Tom has the beautiful Daisy, he is not satisfied with one woman. He believes he needs two because that is what he believes he “deserves.” “He takes a mistress of a lower class because he feels he has complete control over her” (Dawson).
Nick is the narrator of the story. “He tells the tale...