gatdream Nebulous Dreams in F. Scott Fitzgerald
s The Great Gatsby Great Gatsby EssaysNebulous Dreams in The Great Gatsby
In the book, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the character Gatsby is presented to you as an example of the American dream. The dream of the time was to become wealthy and to marry the woman of your dreams, and this is exactly what Gatsby dreamed of. Fitzgerald showed you throughout the book how Gatsby was used by people and how he was even used by the woman that he had devoted his entire life to. Fitzgerald also used Gatsby to show us other things, like how reckless the rich are at the time. The character Gatsby is developed so that the reader can feel compassionate for him and realize that the American dream, like his own, is very fragile and certain people have an utter disregard for them.
The dreams of many people at this time were the same. During these years the economy was booming and a lot of people were prosperous. Young men growing up were taught that they were to grow up, get a job, and support a family. This is everything that young Jay Gatz wanted, and after he met Daisy Buchanan in Louisville, he made up his mind who his wife would be (Fitzgerald 75-76). The two of them were definitely in love and if it were not for the war and his financial and social standing, they would have been married. Fitzgerald writes this so that the reader will kind of understand what he has been through and so that he will get some sympathy. Fitzgerald really wants to show you how the lives of the rich can be so meaningless and irresponsible.
Gatsby throws tons of lavish parties with all of high society as guests so that he can attract the eye of his beloved Daisy (Fitzgerald 43). He wants her to see that he is not the same person he used to be and that he is exceeding the incredibly high standards that her father put before him as an obstacle. Daisy does see this eventually and she doesn’t make a move of her own right away. Gatsby sets up an appointment at Nick’s with those two and Daisy, and after that the affair starts(Fitzgerald 87). Daisy sees that Gatsby has devoted his whole life to her when she sees the pictures and newspaper clippings with her in them at Gatsby’s house and she decides that she wants a little more excitement in her life. She then proceeds to have an affair with Gatsby and use him to escape her “boring” life and her cheating husband. She uses Gatsby to get back at Tom and it works beautifully. In the process of all this, she tears apart Gatsby’s dreams of Daisy and him. In the confrontation at the hotel she admits that she had good times with Tom and that she loved him at one time. Gatsby dreamed of a wife that was his one true love, not a love that you can drift in and out of it as quickly as she did. Fitzgerald did all of this to once again prove that the rich care only for themselves, and not for anyone else, no matter what.
Another example of what Fitzgerald is trying to portray Gatsby as is the incident with Daisy running over Myrtle with the car. Daisy didn’t do it on purpose, but she was in no way, shape, or form, going to take responsibility for her actions. Instead, she let Gatsby crawl into the front seat and take full blame for everything she and Tom did. She killed a woman and then let her lover take the blame for it because she knew that he would do anything for her. Whenever she went home she was completely calm and collected and ate fried chicken with Tom, while planning on what to do about the whole situation. As usual she picked the most careless and irresponsible thing that she could have done, leave. She chose to leave the person that she once loved and still cared for to face the consequences that she should have faced herself. Not only did she just leave but she left for good. She didn’t intend to come back and stay with Gatsby and they did’nt even go to the funeral even though George Wilson killed the wrong person and Tom knew it. Tom didn’t even care that someone else had been murdered for his crime. This is what Fitzgerald wanted the reader to know, that Daisy and the rich people in general will do anything to save face and to make sure that they keep up their “high standard of living.”
Fitzgerald was a master at what he did in this story. The way he presented things, especially Gatsby, was extraordinary. He wanted to make sure that the reader would see everything that went on and the events leading up to and surrounding the death of Gatsby. He did this not by knocking you over the head with it, but by giving you stories of Gatsby and of his past and letting you be the judge of everything that went on. By writing of how much Gatsby loved and obsessed with Daisy he set you up for how she just used him and left him to die. She really represented all of the rich and careless people in the story, because most likely, every rich person in that social group has a story like that and every single one of them would have done the exact same thing she did. By showing you the story of Gatsby and Daisy, Fitzgerald is telling you how these kind of people are. He tells you the story and forces you to sympathize with Gatsby. Nick put it really well when he said, “They’re a rotten crowd…You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together” (Fitzgerald 154). Even though that was the only compliment that Nick ever gave him it was well deserved, because Gatsby was a victim of society in a time when that was all that mattered.
The American dream is a simple one, but yet at the same time it is very hard to achieve. Gatsby found out that the hard way. He worked his whole life to reach his one goal, his one dream, and Daisy just dashed them without thinking twice. Fitzgerald draws very convincing parallels between the rich society and Daisy and he shows you that Gatsby was a victim, a victim of the American dream and the part of society that will stomp on that dream to save themselves from their own carelessness.