During the Roaring Twenties, American lifestyles changed dramatically. Money was abundant and people were going out and having fun. All of this wealth and socializing contributes to the American Dream. Jay Gatsby, the main character of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald symbolizes everything about this dream. Gatsby thinks money is the answer to all his problems and desires. This includes the woman he loves, Daisy. Jay Gatsby has the best of everything: the nicest car, the best clothes, the biggest house, and the liveliest parties.
The car during the twenties was the most important status symbol. Gatsbys car is one of the most expensive, magnificent cars created then. Nick Carraway is in awe the first time he sees it: Id seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length (68). Gatsby is able to make Tom Buchanan jealous with his car. Tom takes the car into the city and tries to insult Gatsby, Ill take you in this circus wagon (128). It is Gatsbys dream, his marvelous car that shatters Toms dream.
Gatsbys car hit Toms mistress, Myrtle Wilson and kills her instantly. Jay attempts to hide his car: he gave instructions that the open car wasnt to be taken out under any circumstances (169). He tells Nick that no one saw him returning to his house. Nick gets angry at this because everyone knew the color of the car: I disliked him so much by this time that I didnt find it necessary to tell him he was wrong (151). Gatsbys dream car is what indirectly leads to his death. Jay Gatsby buys his huge mansion at West Egg in order to be directly across from Daisy Buchanans house.
While he is at the Buchanans house, he points this out to Tom: Gatsbys eyes followed it momentarily; he raised his hand and pointed across the bay. Im right across from you. (124). Tom is again overcome with jealousy. The way Nick describes Gatsbys house helps the reader its size and beauty: 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 (9). Gatsby asks Nick to have Daisy over for tea, just so she can see his house. Appearance means everything to Gatsby.
In his attempt to win Daisys love, he decided to wear his best outfit: Gatsby in a white flannel suit, silver shirt and gold colored tie hurried in (89). He invites Nick and Daisy over to give them a tour of his house. Everything in every room is pointed out and explained. In his room he opens his closet and dumps out all his shirts onto the floor. Daisy cries in frustration when she realizes he is what she wants him to be: It makes me sad because Ive never seen such such beautiful shirts before (98). Daisy can not understand how Gatsby can live in such a huge house all by himself: I dont see how you live there all alone (96).
Gatsby is a very lonely person. Although he keep[s] it always full of interesting people, night and day (96) he doesnt quite fit in with everyone. Many people who attend his parties have no idea who he is. At his parties, he is usually alone somewhere observing everyone: standing alone on the marble steps and looking from one group to another with approving eyes. Although to some it seems like Gatsby is fulfilling his dream, money can not buy his happiness. Jay Gatsbys dream revolves around recapturing Daisys love for him. Daisy Buchanan does fall in love with Jay Gatsby.
She does not marry him and marries Tom instead because he was poor and she was tired of waiting for [him] (137). At first, Gatsby is able to catch Daisy in the thrill of being changed. She begins to have an affair with him and wants him all to herself: some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of unwavering devotion (115). Although Gatsbys wealth drew Daisy closer to him, his money would never keep her. Daisy gets tired of men deciding everything for her and breaks down: Oh, you want too much!
I love you now isnt that enough? I cant help whats past. I did love him once but I loved you too (139-140). Jay Gatsbys dream is crushed and he no longer has too much to live for. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is incredibly written to help the reader understand what was going on during the Jazz Age. The two main characters, Nick and Gatsby help balance the books effect. All the themes and symbols are wonderfully added to the story. The whole issue on the American Dream intrigued me because everything in the book is connected to it.