The Great Gatsby

By Morgan Williams

The fictional Great Gatsby novel was written by author F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. In the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald offers up commentary on a variety of themes such as justice, power, greed, betrayal, the American dream, and so on. It is mainly about Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy which turned into an obsession. Jay Gatsby focused his life choices based on Daisy which in the end did not work out for him. There are many characters who don’t enjoy their lives but live in luxury, which Jay and Daisy, among others, had in common. Jay Gatsby got everything he could have wanted besides the love of his life, and tragically, he loved the idea of being with her more than he loved her.

The Great Gatsby is a tale about a man who lost his life over a woman who did not even deign to attend his funeral. The character Gatsby is a man who is around thirty years old and rose from an impoverished childhood in rural North Dakota to become astoundingly wealthy. However, he achieved this lofty goal by participating in organized crime, including distributing illegal alcohol and trading in stolen securities. Jay Gatsby despised poverty and longed-for wealth and sophistication, and although Gatsby has always wanted to be rich, his main motivation in obtaining his fortune was his love for Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby immediately fell in love with Daisy’s characteristics of luxury, grace, and charm, and lied to her about his own background in order to convince her that he was good enough for her. Everything he does, every purchase he makes, every party he throws, is all part of his grand scheme to bring Daisy back into his life for good.

The Great Gatsby is filled with many characters who live hopeless, lonely lives, even though they have all the money they could want. The story focuses on the new idea of the American Dream and how having money will lead to material gain and success. The majority of the characters in Fitzgerald’s novel fall for the idea of conspicuous consumption. During the 1920s, not only was there a change in the American Dream, but also there was a change in America itself. There are characters in Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby that buy into the idea of the American Dream of money buys happiness, however their unhappiness reveals the novel’s great shift in the American Dream.

Although Jay Gatsby was living the American Dream, he died in an unhappy state of mind. Personally, I think he was a very lost man and wanted to leave the poverty in his past. He wanted the girl of his dreams, and to have hundreds of luxurious items, but he did not get it all in a legal manner. Therefore, I assume he felt some sort of guilt for the things that he was doing. I believe that Jay Gatsby is described to try really hard to make others happy, and his failing to do so is what eventually leads to his depression. His depression and lack of guidance through his life is what incidentally leads to his tragic death. The only thing Gatsby can think of to make Daisy happy is his wealth; he believes if he has a lot of money he can win her back and mend their relationship. That being said Gatsby became a desperate man, all the time he had to spend in his life, he spent trying to get Daisy to love him. Since he was unsuccessful, I feel that he believes he has no self-worth and no real reason to live. I believe his death was a direct result of this. This is quite similar to how I always want to make my loved ones and friends happy, and I think this is common occurrence in today’s society.

The Great Gatsby is one of many novels from the 1920s that offer a reflection of insight to the real American Dream. It really shows the difference between money equals happiness and love equals happiness. The money equals happiness comparison is shown through Daisy because she is so unhappy with the fact that Tom is cheating on her with Myrtle that it causes Daisy to run her over. Because Tom has money they are able to move away and start over. Then the love equals happiness comparison is shown through Gatsby because he loves Daisy so much that he takes the blame for killing Myrtle and ends up dead. So, in reality neither Daisy’s nor Gatsby’s American Dream is really successful or happy. Although Gatsby’s end was tragic, he was able to fulfill and realize his ambitions. He fulfilled the ambition of acquiring massive amounts of money, experienced a type of love with Daisy, gained popularity through generously entertaining hundreds of guests at parties.

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