The main theme of the novel “The Great Gatsby” focuses on the American Dream and it is portrayed through the life of Jay Gatsby. Through Gatsby’s life we see the withering of the American Dream, a tragedy that struck Jay’s near finished dream. The American Dream is what many have hoped of achieving, it has existed in the past and is in the present. The American Dream gives people a goal that they can work towards, it also gives them a purpose in life. The American Dream represents luxury and wealth it believes the goodness of the quality of life. For Jay Gatsby, he was so close to achieving the American Dream.
He had the wealth and the class, all he needed was his long lost love, Daisy. Gatsby truly believed that he could once again be together with Daisy we see this when he says “Can’t repeat the past? ” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can” (P. 116). However what made the story such a tragedy was that Gatsby came so close to wining Daisy however he was killed by Mr. Wilson which he was just inches away from successfully completing the American Dream. In the past, only a small amount of the American Dream turned out to be successful, most have failed.
Many people who did not achieve the American Dream ended up committing suicide or other means of giving up on life because they believe there was no other purpose in life. Gatsby represent the American Dream in many ways, in order to accomplish his Dream he knew exactly what he desired, when Jay met Dan Cody at the shore of Lake Superior, Dan shown him a vision of success a vision of what wealth would offer, the excitement of being rich. Jay Gatsby has an ambitious nature, there for he would do anything just to live the American Dream.
He started by building a past, he changed his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby in an attempt to construct a foundation for his dream. He then composed an image for Jay Gatsby, a well gentleman who was born in the west, educated at oxford and fought in World War I. Gatsby was then able to attain a great deal of money working with Meyer Wolfsheim. He then bought a huge mansion in the “West Egg”, however he would throw extravagant parties in hoping of attracting his long lost love Daisy, the one who he had an affair with before he went to the war.
Nick describes Gatsby’s feelings about Daisy: “He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy and I think that he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of the response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way as though in her actual presence none of it was any longer real. Once he even toppled down a flight of stairs” (P. 96 – 97) Daisy means everything to Gatsby, his American Dream is merged with his dream of being with Daisy. Without Daisy, Gatsby’s American Dream is incomplete.
A major factor that makes Gatsby’s American Dream so tragic is that everything seemed to be so perfect in the beginning, for example we see that he almost had the perfect life. He had collections of nice cars to a nice grand white mansion to collections of imported shirts. Nick Describes Gatsby’s parties: “Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiter in New York – every Monday there same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. ” (P. 43) This shows the amount of wealth Gatsby had, he threw parties weekly and most of his guests haven’t even seen Gatsby.
He didn’t throw the parties to show of his wealth, he threw the parties in hope of attracting Daisy. Gatsby needed Daisy to complete his life, his dream to be with Daisy fused with his American Dream. However, it was tragic that he had to die at such a young age, epically when he’s so close to achieving the American Dream. Generally speaking, the American Dream is mostly achieved by people of the higher class, the people who reside in the “East Egg”. It is a lot easier for high classed people to achieve the American Dream, because they already have the social connections from the schools they attended when they were young.
They already have the wealth that they received through the generations. With this in mind they what your look at Jay Gatsby’s life he didn’t really have social connections nor the family wealthy. He learned all the skills and inherited the money from a close friend. This makes the plot of the story even more tragic because Jay is from a lower-medium classed society and if he succeeds in achieving the American Dream he would inspire many people. However, the fact he was so close but he didn’t, it made his dream contemptuous. To achieve the American Dream is typical in many people’s lives.
Everyone at one point in their life has wanted to be wealthy or to be happy and to have a perfect family. However, to some the American Dream is more than a dream, many have tired a lifetime in achieving it but was never able to succeed. To others they believe there’s nothing to live for and if they don’t achieve the American Dream, For example when Mr. Wilson lost Myrtle he gave up the hope of achieving the American Dream because he had lost one of the most crucial part to his dream. He was so depressed to the point that he believed the eyes of Dr.
Eckleburg was the image of god: Standing behind him Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg which had just emerged pale and enormous from the dissolving night” (P. 167) He believed that god would justify his actions since god is watching through the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg. So he shot Jay Gatsby whom he thought Myrtle was having an affair with, then he shot himself. All things said, I think the hope of the American Dream is more than hard to achieve. Not everyone can find that perfect soul mate and not everyone can stay wealthy for a long period.
Especially during this revolutionary century, money is easily earned but also easily lost. I think for many people the American Dream is a purpose for life, a difficult goal for ambitious people like Gatsby to reach. Personally, I do not believe this, I believe that we should live a mediocre life, so that our whole life is even. Unlike how some people work three quarters of their life to enjoy that one quarter life of the American Dream. In the end you will lose all your friends and perhaps even your life if you don’t succeed. To me the moral of the book meant enjoy your life while it lasts, you only have so much time to enjoy it.