The Great Gatsby: Chasing Dreams Essay

930 words - 4 pages

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tells the story of a man of meager wealth who chases after his dreams, only to find them crumble before him once he finally reaches them. Young James Gatz had always had dreams of being upper class, he didn't only want to have wealth, but he wanted to live the way the wealthy lived. At a young age he ran away from home; on the way he met Dan Cody, a rich sailor who taught him much of what he would later use to give the world an impression that he was wealthy. After becoming a soldier, Gatsby met an upper class girl named Daisy - the two fell in love. When he came back from the war Daisy had grown impatient of waiting for him and married a man named Tom Buchanan. Gatsby now has two coinciding dreams to chase after - wealth and love. Symbols in the story, such as the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, the contrast between the East Egg and West Egg, and the death of Myrtle, Gatsby, and Wilson work together to expose a larger theme in the story. Gatsby develops this idea that wealth can bring anything - status, love, and even the past; but what Gatsby doesn't realize is that wealth can only bring so much, and it’s this fatal mistake that leads to the death of his dreams.
The green light at the end of the Buchanan’s dock symbolizes Gatsby’s lust for wealth and power, and also his dream of having Daisy. The interpretation that stands out the most of any is that green is the color of money, therefore Gatsby’s motivations are fueled by the wealthy status of someone on the East Egg that he would wish to have as well. However, just like his dreams, the light is very “minute and far away” (30). Gatsby throws lavish parties, lives his life in luxury, and fools himself into believing he is upper class all to attract Daisy. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy, they look out across the bay from his home, and mist has covered the green light, “his count of enchanted objects had diminished by one” (120). This makes it clear that the green light was a symbol of his yearning for Daisy to be by his side, however, Daisy is married now. The mist has temporarily cut Gatsby’s vision of the green light, but it soon comes back, and just as it does Daisy has to go back to Tom. No matter how much wealth and luxury Gatsby acquires, the green light will always be a bay away from him, just like the intangible aspects of life he strives to obtain.
The social hierarchy is a clear symbol that motivates Gatsby to reach his dreams of wealth...

Find Another Essay On The Great Gatsby: Chasing Dreams

The Thin Line between Dreams and Reality in The Great Gatsby

836 words - 3 pages The Thin Line between Dreams and Reality in The Great Gatsby Differentiating between reality and dreams can be difficult in a world of wealth, lies, and alcoholism. The characters of The Great Gatsby seem to live the lives of Greek gods, believing that they are immortal and immune to the perils of common people. They party all day and all night, dressed in evening wear (as opposed to a work suit) sipping on expensive liquors. They have no

Comparison of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”

1012 words - 4 pages The short story of “Winter Dreams” was written around the same time that Fitzgerald was developing ideas for a story to turn into a novel. While The Great Gatsby wasn’t published until 1925, “Winter Dreams” débuted in 1922 and the similarities between the novel and short story were done on purpose. “Winter Dreams” became a short draft which Fitzgerald paralleled The Great Gatsby after, but also differentiated the two in specific ways (“Winter

The Consequences of Misguided Dreams: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

958 words - 4 pages lead to pain; in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie characters who follow their misconstrued dreams struggle towards happiness. Throughout literature, the “Great American Dream” is portrayed as many different things. The reality of it is that the “Great American Dream” should be a person’s ability to follow his/her dreams, no matter what they consist of. While controversial, it only seems fair to

The Collapse of Dreams in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

831 words - 3 pages reality. Dreams give purpose to life. Without dreams life has no meaning, as shown by Gatsby. The American Dream is something all people work toward. Although it is an admirable goal, it is often an unobtainable goal. To Gatsby, the American Dream remained just that, a dream.   Work Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Books, 1990.  

Destruction of Dreams, Failure of Dreamers in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1517 words - 6 pages Jay Gatsby, the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is used to contrast a real American dreamer against what had become of American society during the 1920's.  By magnifying the tragic fate of dreamers, conveying that twenties America lacked the substance to fulfill dreams and exposing the shallowness of Jazz-Age Americans, Fitzgerald foreshadows the destruction of his own generation. The beauty and splendor of

Sandra Cisneros vs. F. Scott Fitzgerald's American Dreams as shown through "The House on Mango Street" and "The Great Gatsby"

667 words - 3 pages Sandra Cisneros' version of the American Dream can be defined through the lives of the characters in "The House on Mango Street". Using several vignettes throughout the book, Esperanza, the narrator, reveals Cisneros' interpretation of the ideal American life. This American Dream can be compared and contrasted to the one presented by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his novel, "The Great Gatsby".One part of Cisneros' American Dream is the desire to have a

Chasing the Dreams

779 words - 4 pages Barbara Kingsolver, author of “Rose-Johnny” once said, “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” This quote is very relevant to the points Kingsolver was stating throughout the story of “Rose-Johnny.” Every single person has several of dreams in their lifetime, which they want to fulfill. One

Gatsby's dream was what destroyed him- an essay about The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald, and the way dreams can destroy the actual life

987 words - 4 pages and suffer the consequences. This is what happened to Jay Gatsby. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's book "The Great Gatsby" written in 1925we are made known the story of a man that becomes extremely rich starting from nothing He is in love with a girl, or better to say with a dream, that is called Daisy. She is very rich and he is very poor. He wants to become rich though and she becomes all he is striving for. He wants to have her and he doesn't want to

The Great Gatsby

1427 words - 6 pages The American dream became prevalent in the “roaring twenties”, when material possessions were the spotlight, social class was essential, and your status in society was all that mattered; society was mesmerized as if they were in a trance. The Great Gatsby takes place during the 1920’s in a culture that craved wealth, sex and fame. Nick Carraway, the narrator, finds himself captivated by the lifestyle that his cousin Daisy Buchanan, her husband

The Great Gatsby

1167 words - 5 pages example of this would be how Gatsby, ruined his life by chasing a girl that was already married and seeking perfection in the real world, so that it could match his dreams. Furthermore, in the book it showed that the characters that followed their ambitions that I described ended up being heart broken and devastated at the end of the book. The ambitions of a person, can lead them to act in complete dispersion, which ends up hurting the ones around them, and themselves. Works Cited The Great Gatsby, Book

The Great Gatsby

732 words - 3 pages The American Dream of life, love, wealth and happiness is wanted by all, but only few will find it. The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the American Dream, and those who try to find it, roaring 20's style. Jay Gatsby wanted to be part of the rich. He wanted to live the American Dream. This dream is different for the many people in this book. Nick Carraway, a young mid westerner who moves to New York to learn the bond

Similar Essays

Chasing The American Dream In The Great Gatsby By F Scott Fitzgerald

1025 words - 4 pages of money. Even though Gatsby has control, influence, and authority to change his dreams into making it into real life for him this is what Nicks says makes him a good man. Now both Gatsby’s dream and the American Dream are over.

Chasing What's Lost In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1670 words - 7 pages Chasing What’s Lost Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is sometimes what a person stands for. These 3 keys of life are what Gatsby lives by and represents in the story The Great Gatsby. The life he represents gives much power and great popularity but also secrecy. Everyone around him and from a far knows exactly who he is. Gatsby knows the government and knows everything he stands for. He knows the powerful but useful ones he will

Dreams In The Great Gatsby By F.Scott Fitzgerald

2433 words - 10 pages 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

Unfulfilled Dreams In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

1408 words - 6 pages Unfulfilled Dreams in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Everyone has dreams of being successful in life. When the word American comes to mind one often thinks of the land of opportunity. This dream was apparent with the first settlers, and it is apparent in today’s society. In F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925), he illustrates the challenges and tragedies associated with the American dream. By examining Jay Gatsby, Tom