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The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is set in 1922 in the New York

City area. It is about the American Dream and those who attempt to reach its

illusionary goals. Jay Gatsby acquires the wealth and the power of his dream but

not the happiness. We have to wonder why F. Scott Fitzgerald would write such a

book. Was it to reflect the society of the 1920’s: where either you had money

and the dream, or you were poor and lived amongst the ashes. You could have the

chance of being like the phoenix and rising out of the ashes like the character

Jay. 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. Jay

Gatsby, 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, finally

dying in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a love affair with the affluent Daisy

Buchannan. Knowing he could not marry her because of her social status, he

leaves her to achive a comparable social status. Once he acquires this status,

he moves near Daisy, and throws elaborate parties hoping, by chance, she might

show up at one of them. When Daisy doesn’t show up at the parties, Jay asks

around to see if anyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin of

Daisy’s, who agrees to arrange a meeting. Gatsby’s personal dream symbolizes the

larger American Dream which is available to everyone , the wealth, the status

and the happiness. Tom Buchannan, Daisy’s husband, realizes his world is falling

apart when he is driving to New York with Nick and Jordan Baker the female golf

pro. His wife Daisy, is driving with Jay in her car. Tom stops to get gas and

Tom’s mistress, Myrtle sees him. With jealous eyes she watches them leave

thinking Jordan is Tom’s wife. On the way back from New York, Daisy is driving

Tom’s car, Myrtle sees the car and thinks that it’s Tom and she runs out in

front of it. Daisy doesn’t realize the woman she hit was Tom’s mistress, as she

continues to drive away in shock. Later in the story at the Plaza Hotel, Jay

still believes Daisy loves him. He is so convinced of this that he takes the

blame for Myrtle’s death. Jay cannot accept that the past is gone. He is sure he

can capture his dream with all his wealth. He believes he acted for a good

beyond his personal interest and that should give him success. Gatsby doesn’t

rest until his American Dream is finally fulfilled. However, it never comes

about and he ends up paying the ultimate price for it. Jay found his wealth and

his power but not his ultimate happiness. The idea that money can buy everything

is far off, no matter what you have you can never buy true friends or total

happiness. The American Dream still holds true today. But one thing never

changes: everyone desires something in life and everyone strives to get it, but

as we all know, " you can’t always get what you want". Gatsby is a

prime example. I highly recommend this book as a great read. Quote " You

can’t always get what you want"


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