Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby Love Story

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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As children, we have all dreamt of money, being rich; owning an extravagant
mansion, magnificent cars, and being married to a prince or princess. Basically,
we dream of the perfect life, with the perfect spouse. Generally, this dream is
known as the American Dream, which is the belief that if one works hard, that
person will succeed by becoming rich. The topic of the American Dream can be
found throughout The Great Gatsby, the most prime example of this is the dream
of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby’s dream is to work hard to get rich in order to win the
love of Daisy Buchanan, his long lost love. Despite these beliefs, the American
Dream, in it’s modern form, generally fails to make that person happy. As for
Gatsby’s dream to win Daisy’s love with elaborate material possessions, his
attempts eventually lead to his death. Both the noble intentions and the
resulting failures of the American Dream resemble the intentions and corruption
of Jay Gatsby in the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. F. Scott
Fitzgerald included many examples of the American Dream in the novel. Myrtle
Wilson is an example of this. Myrtle, who was married to George Wilson, a low
income mechanic, desired money and a higher social status. This desire, which is
equivalent to the desire for money in the American Dream, eventually led to the
death of Myrtle. Myrtle was having an affair with Tom Buchanan in spite of the
fact that he was awful to her, for example, “…Tom Buchanan broke her nose
with his open hand.” But yet, Myrtle continued to secretly see Tom in the
chance that he would share his money with her, so she would become rich.
Myrtle’s dream of money, and belief that having an affair with Tom would
eventually lead her to money, but instead, she met death. Another example of the
American Dream is the dream of Daisy Buchanan. Daisy fell in love with Jay
Gatsby before he went away to war, but her desire for money led her to Tom
Buchanan instead. Because Gatsby grew up in a poor family, Daisy was appalled;
she favored money, over true love. Daisy’s decision to marry Tom was assisted
by the fact that “…the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls
valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars”. This decision not only
affected Daisy, Tom (and therefore Myrtle and George Wilson), but also Jay
Gatsby. Jay Gatsby’s mansion is prime example of the American Dream in The
Great Gatsby. He devoted his life to winning the love of Daisy Buchanan; he
owned an immense mansion across the bay from Daisy and Tom’s: “…It was a
factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side,
spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more
than forty acres of lawn and garden…” This mansion seems to be an
extravagant waste for a single occupant, built primarily to satisfy the eyes of
onlookers and party-goers. This is justified by the fact that Gatsby had never
even “used the pool once during the summer”. Although the pool is an outward
sign of wealth, Gatsby derived no pleasure or satisfaction from it. Gatsby’s
mansion, which was conveniently located across the bay from Daisy and well lit,
was within the view of her. Gatsby also invested in items to please the eye of
onlookers, especially Daisy, which were gawky, colorful, and belongings only of
a man with “new money”. When Gatsby was to meet Daisy, for the first time in
five years, he wore “a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored
tie”. Then, once Daisy entered his house, she was amazed at the lavish,
expensive items that occupied Gatsby’s mansion. The mansion contained rooms
such as the “Marie Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons” and the
“Merton College Library”, which were used only by party guests. All the
while Daisy was in Gatsby’s house, “…He hadn’t once ceased looking at
Daisy…he re-valued everything in his house according to the measure of
response it drew from her…” Gatsby did not care for his possessions; they
were there for the pleasure of others, Daisy especially. The parties held at
Gatsby’s mansion, were primarily held in hopes that Daisy would attend one of
them and realize her mistake of marrying Tom instead of himself. Often, Nick
would spot Gatsby staring across the bay, at a green light at the end of Daisy
and Tom’s dock, across the bay. Few people who attended these magnificent
parties at the Gatsby mansion even knew the host. Very few were actually
invited, “…people were not invited, they went there…” The parties that
Gatsby held were extraordinary; “…Several hundred feet of canvas and enough
colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby’s enormous garden. On buffet
tables, garnished with glistening hors d’oeurve, spiced baked hams…bewitched
to a dark gold…” Also attending these parties, was an orchestra, “no thin
five-piece affair, but a whole pitful…” Despite the extremities Gatsby has
gone to, in order to hold the perfect party, the guests were disrespectful, and
spread many rumors about him, such as where he got his money from, his
occupation, and most of all his past. Gatsby’s success in achieving material
wealth, however, did not achieve its initial goal, in the respect that
Gatsby’s wealth was not able to win the love of Daisy Buchanan. His intentions
and attempt** Syntax Error **** Syntax Error **s were followed by tragedy and
failure. It was amidst one of Gatsby’s most elaborate material possessions,
the marble pool, in which Gatsby’s death was brought about by a vengeful act
of Myrtle’s husband, George Wilson. This downfall is comparable to the noble
intentions and resulting failures of the American Dream, in which class and
greed usually overtake the success of becoming rich. F. Scott Fitzgerald
portrayed Jay Gatsby’s dream as a resemblance to the American Dream in The
Great Gatsby.
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