Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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The novel The Great Gatsby is set during the 1920's on Long Island, New York. In
the novel, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby has a dream that a majority people
would want to live. The dream is made up of things that may vary from one person
to another, but it is still a basic dream for most people. Finding someone that
you truly love and that truly loves you back is one part of the dream. Being
happy is another. The final part is having wealth and being in the upper class
of society. This dream that is pursued by so many can endanger the future of
someone because they never know what they would have to go through to get it.
Gatsby's main goal throughout the novel is to attain true love with a former
love, Daisy Buchanan. He knows that Daisy is married to a rich man, Tom
Buchanan, so he uses poor judgement and assumes that becoming rich will win her
back. To be close to her and try to increase his chances of being with her,
Gatsby moves across the bay to West Egg Island. Nick Carraway, the narrator and
Gatsby's main friend throughout the novel, is an acquaintance of the Buchanans
and helps set up a meeting between Daisy and Jay. Gatsby finally meets Daisy and
begins to spend more time with her, hoping that she will leave her husband for
him. At the end of the story, however, Gatsby begins to realize that his love
with Daisy would not happen at all. When Gatsby sees Daisy's daughter he
realizes the truth. Her marriage is real and he cannot have her. Fitzgerald
expresses this by writing, “afterward he kept looking at the child with
surprise. I [Nick Carraway] don't think he had ever really believed in her
existence before.” He also realizes that Daisy likes the status quo and likes
the security of being known as Mrs. Buchanan, so she will not leave her husband.
Wealth is the only idea in the dream that is obtained by Gatsby, but it doesn't
bring him what he expected and desired. Gatsby built up his fortune hoping that
his accomplishments would bring him happiness. Once again, Gatsby's lack of
in-depth thinking led him to believe that if he attained wealth that Daisy would
love him again and leave her husband. He also felt that gaining many material
possessions would make him happy, but they never did. He needed reassurance
about his possessions, “he hadn't once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he
revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew
from her well-loved eyes.” Fitzgerald uses irony by having Gatsby's
automobile, one of his possessions attained by wealth, lead to his downfall. His
unrequited love for Daisy never dies throughout the book and is one of the
factors that leads to his death. Happiness, the central part of the dream, is
never really obtained by Jay Gatsby throughout the book. In order to try to
become happy through friends and fun, Gatsby throws huge parties every week.
Despite the fun and excitement at the parties, Gatsby just watched and didn't
participate in the activities. This is expressed in a more poetical way when
Fitzgerald writes, “A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and
great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host, who stood
on the porch, his hand waving up in a formal gesture of farewell.” Nick is
Gatsby's main friend and even he didn't make Gatsby truly happy. The only thing
that could make Gatsby truly happy would be attaining his true love, Daisy.
Before he went off to fight in the war, Jay was happy because he loved Daisy and
Daisy loved him. After serving in the armed forces during war, Gatsby spends the
whole novel in an inspiring chase for an unattainable love. Through his failed
attempts at love, wealth, and happiness, Gatsby becomes a tragic victim of the
dream that so many people desire. Gatsby did all that he could to win Daisy back
but always failed and never attained true happiness. He moved near to his love
and became friends with her again. He became wealthy and tried to impress her
with money. He acquired material things with his wealth and showed them off to
prove to Daisy how rich he was. In the end none of it worked out, and Jay Gatsby
was even accused by Tom Buchanan of trying to steal his wife. There are many
lessons presented here. One is that one should not change themselves drastically
just for another person. Also, wealth and material things are obviously not the
way to win somebody’s love. Love is something you earn and can’t buy.
Finally, the only way to gain happiness is to not desire things that require a
great deal of changing to acquire. Most of the time, if someone truly desires
something, they will only suffer. This is because when they don’t get what
they desire, they are left even sadder knowing they won’t have what they’ve
wanted a for a long time. These are just some of the lessons that can be learned
from many of the themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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