It is a popular way of thinking that everyone knows that you can not be one hundred percent satisfied. You always want more or less of something, whether it is money, love, attention, or materialistic things. For example, an average everyday person could want more money and attention as for celebrity, who just wants privacy from the paparazzi. In The Great Gatsby everyone is dissatisfied with something like their social class and/or marriage. Dissatisfaction has more of an impact in The Great Gatsby because it’s a human trait to be dissatisfied.
As the American Dream is about having more wealth, power, and prosperity, it is “the American Way [to be] bigger, better, stronger, and faster”. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby himself represented such traits in the eyes of Nick. Gatsby had wealth, looks, and could have any girl he wanted but he only longed for one, Daisy Buchanan. What’s the point of having everything if you can not have just the one thing you want? Daisy herself is also in love with Gatsby, but because of her need to live up to the social standard of American femininity in the 1920’s, she hides it. “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool”. Daisy describes to Nick and Jordan her hopes for her daughter. She is not a fool herself, but this speaks about her character, that a girl will have more fun if she is beautiful and clueless, much as she acts to deny the fact that she is dissatisfied and has an aching love for Gatsby that remains aloof.
Us humans have it in us to require and want more, we naturally crave it. This leads to us being the reason for our own dissatisfaction, we can only blame ourselves. “When we collect some stuff, we, quite naturally, want more stuff. It is a desire for more that traps us in our own dissatisfaction, because we are always grasping for that more-ness… The problem isn’t really the stuff. It’s the desire for the stuff, and the anxiety that desire provokes when unmet, creating the dissatisfaction… Even the Dalai Lama agrees that we can’t divest ourselves of our desires because, in that, we desire to be desireless. So, it’s not about the getting rid of desire, but applying that desire mindfully and with skillful means”. It’s as if dissatisfaction is just a mind game that we all take part in, not only that but we are trapped.
Society plays a role in strengthening our desires and wants by trying to make them out as being our needs. For example with cell phones, telephones were invented to just be the means of communication between individuals from afar, but we have advanced it to something more big and powerful. There’s a controversial issue that cell phones have basically taken over our lives, we can not live without them. We use cell phones for any and everything, to the point where we do not even need human contact because in our world, technology means much more than just a basic greeting in person. Cell phones only continue to improve and many different companies such as Samsung and apple come out with up to date devices every 6 to 12 months.
Our dissatisfaction lies within making it a “need” to get the new device. “In the best of all possible worlds, we would operate with the maxim, “This much is enough”. Well, we don’t; instead, we fairly consistently pursue that elusive more-ness. What if, however, we chose to work with what we had without clinging to it, or found a way to enhance what we had without feeling the need to move on from it or leave it behind, recognizing that we are making it more complete?” In this way we dissatisfy ourselves by creating our own high standards and expecting more from what we already get. Society only adds on to these standards and affects all of our characters.