The Great Gatsby Dreams The Great Gatsby Dreams The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about the American Dream. In the Great Gatsby, the dream is that one can acquire happiness through wealth and power. To get his happiness Jay attempts to reacquire the love of his lost sweet heart, Daisy. The main problem with Jays dream is that Daisy is all ready married. Gatsby’s personal dream symbolizes the larger American Dream The pursuit of happiness.
Jay Gatsby longs for the past. Surprisingly he devotes his adult life trying to recapture it and dies in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a love affair with a young rich girl, Daisy. Daisy and Jay had fallen in love with each other in spite of knowing that they could not marry because of the difference in their social status. For the first time in Jays life he was truly happy.
During their courtship, Jay was sent off to war. Upon returning from the war, Jay found out that Daisy had married a wealthy man by the name of Tom Buchannon. Jay then spends his life acquiring wealth to reach her economic standards, in hope that he can marry her and rekindle the happiness that he once had. His love for Daisy was impossible in society because he was at present a penniless young man without a pasthe had no comfortable family standing behind him (156). Gatsby encounters his dream of love at this point of his life.
He knew that at that time a relationship of love was impossible with Daisy due to his low social standing. Gatsby became determined to breach that gap between them in order to have a loving relationship with Daisy. He did reach the physical circumstances necessary to love her, but he had focused too much on money and power the previous five years of his life. He wanted his love with Daisy to flourish. Unfortunately, he had lost the ability to love. He no longer possessed moral integrity or the ability to handle a relationship.
Society is often broken up into different social groups by their economic status. Those of lower classes believe that their problems will go away if they can gain enough wealth to reach the upper class. Many people believe that the American Dream is this joining of the upper class, and once reaching that point, not having to be concerned about money at all. The logic behind this is that being poor keeps people from being happy, and once you become rich, you do not have to struggle with the problems of life, and can therefore be happy. The Great Gatsby takes this belief, and shows its flaws through the lives of Jay, Tom and Daisy.
In fact, all of the characters in the story are affected in some way by the lives of these three characters. Gatsby makes becoming an upper class citizen his priority. The life of the upper class in turn, makes the acquisition of wealth their priority. Wealth becomes Jays vehicle in his quest for his primary goal, Daisy. In Gatsby’s rise to power morality is sacrificed in order to attain wealth. While the story does not go into great detail as to how Gatsbys wealth was accumulated, it can easily be seen that his business ventures were shady at best. Gatsby’s dream was doomed to failure because of his lack of principles.
This shows a major flaw of the American Dream philosophy, just like the get rich quick schemes of today, Jay is trying to buy Daisys love, not earn it. Nick attempts to tell Jay that his dream is pointless by saying that the past cannot be relived. Jay quickly told Nick, Yes you can, old sport. This shows the confidence that Jay has in fulfilling his American Dream, and his commitment to it. Tom Buchanan, Daisys husband, was a man from an enormously wealthy family.
Nick, described Tom’s physical attributes as having a hard mouth and a supercilious mannerarrogant eyes had established dominance over his facealways leaning aggressively forwarda cruel bodyhis speaking voiceadded to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed (11). The wealth Tom has inherited causes him to become arrogant and condescending to others. Tom believed that he could do what he wanted, and did not care about others feelings. Daisy simply had it all. She was beautiful and graceful, she was from a rich family, and she had traveled and knew people no matter where she went. Daisy had a very good reputation among the elite. She had never done anything that would have embarrassed her. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation (82).
Tom was without a doubt very lucky to be with her, but he decided to cheat on her. Not only did Tom cheat on her, he was cheating on her with someone of a far lower class. This made me question why he was with Daisy in the first place. Tom must not have been happy with Daisy, because the story talks of other affairs, such as one in Chicago. Tom used Daisy not only for her wealth, but also for her firm social standing.
She could, literally, make or break Tom depending on whether or not she stayed with him. The reason why Tom remained with Daisy was because she defined his social standing. This also goes to show how important appearances were to these people, no matter how fake those appearances truly were. At the same time that Tom was using Daisy for her money, Daisy was using Tom. Nick reveals that Daisy does not need Tom in the same way that he needed her. She needed Tom to remain emotionally stable.
As the story of Daisy and Gatsby’s history unfolded, it became clear that they, at one point, loved each other very deeply, however, Gatsby had to leave Daisy to go to war. When he returned, Daisy was already married to Tom. Daisy always hid her undying love for Gatsby from Tom, as well as all the others that were around her at the time of their marriage, so when Gatsby returned to confess his love for her, she was clueless as to how to deal with this situation. She began to see Gatsby on the side; however, she never seriously thought about actually leaving Tom for Gatsby. It was Jordan who told Nick that on the very night before Tom and Daisy’s marriage, Daisy drunkenly wept in the tub because she knew that she would not marry Gatsby.
And five years later, in the Plaza Hotel, Daisy confessed that she loved Gatsby, but that she had loved Tom at the time of their wedding. Even alone I can’t say that I never loved Tom (140). She needed to express that she had loved Tom so that she had even the least bit of hope that he wouldn’t leave her for someone else. Truth be known, Daisy was using Tom as a support barrier, so she’d never feel as alone and as aba …