The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is set in 1922 in the New YorkCity area. It is about the American Dream and those who attempt to reach itsillusionary goals.
Jay Gatsby acquires the wealth and the power of his dream butnot the happiness. We have to wonder why F. Scott Fitzgerald would write such abook. Was it to reflect the society of the 1920’s: where either you had moneyand the dream, or you were poor and lived amongst the ashes. You could have thechance of being like the phoenix and rising out of the ashes like the characterJay. This dream is different for different people.
In The Great Gatsby, for Jay,the dream is that through wealth and power one can acquire happiness. JayGatsby, the central figure of the story is one character who longs for the past.Surprisingly, he devotes most of his adult life trying to recapture it, finallydying in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a love affair with the affluent DaisyBuchannan. Knowing he could not marry her because of her social status, heleaves her to achive a comparable social status. Once he acquires this status,he moves near Daisy, and throws elaborate parties hoping, by chance, she mightshow up at one of them. When Daisy doesn’t show up at the parties, Jay asksaround to see if anyone knows her.
Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin ofDaisy’s, who agrees to arrange a meeting. Gatsby’s personal dream symbolizes thelarger American Dream which is available to everyone , the wealth, the statusand the happiness. Tom Buchannan, Daisy’s husband, realizes his world is fallingapart when he is driving to New York with Nick and Jordan Baker the female golfpro. His wife Daisy, is driving with Jay in her car. Tom stops to get gas andTom’s mistress, Myrtle sees him.
With jealous eyes she watches them leavethinking Jordan is Tom’s wife. On the way back from New York, Daisy is drivingTom’s car, Myrtle sees the car and thinks that it’s Tom and she runs out infront of it. Daisy doesn’t realize the woman she hit was Tom’s mistress, as shecontinues to drive away in shock. Later in the story at the Plaza Hotel, Jaystill believes Daisy loves him. He is so convinced of this that he takes theblame for Myrtle’s death.
Jay cannot accept that the past is gone. He is sure hecan capture his dream with all his wealth. He believes he acted for a goodbeyond his personal interest and that should give him success.
Gatsby doesn’trest until his American Dream is finally fulfilled. However, it never comesabout and he ends up paying the ultimate price for it. Jay found his wealth andhis power but not his ultimate happiness. The idea that money can buy everythingis far off, no matter what you have you can never buy true friends or totalhappiness.
The American Dream still holds true today. But one thing neverchanges: everyone desires something in life and everyone strives to get it, butas we all know, ” you can’t always get what you want”. Gatsby is aprime example. I highly recommend this book as a great read.
Quote ” Youcan’t always get what you want”English Essays