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Wealth In The Great Gatsby Essay

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Why did Daisy choose Tom in the end??? In the novel “The GreatGatsby”, Daisy Buchanan was faced with an enormous decision. She had tochoose between Tom; her husband and Jay Gatsby; her lover. Gatsby seemed to bethe ideal man of his time. Fabulously wealthy, handsome, charismatic andintriguing, he seemed to be able to offer everything a woman could want.

All hewanted in return was Daisy’s complete unconditional love. Tom, on the otherhand could offer Daisy money, security and freedom. Ultimately Daisy chose thelatter. The roaring 20’s was an era of total decadence.

The first World Warhad ended and industry was booming. People were becoming millionaires overnight. There seemed to be no end in sight to the prosperity. Although people werebecoming rich quickly, old money provided more privilege than new money. TomBuchanan came from old money.

He was a Westerner who was renowned in college forboth his football skills and his supremely decadent lifestyle. The narratorstates “His family were enormously wealthy, even in college his freedomwith money was a matter for reproach-but now he’d left Chicago and come Eastin a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance, he brought down astring of polo ponies from Lake Forest. ” Daisy chose to marry Tom becauseof his wealth and power. Fitzgerald writes “There was a wholesome bulkinessabout his person and his position and Daisy was flattered. ” He could offerDaisy prestige in addition to all the old money one could dream of. Gatsby hadmade his money by illegal means.

He was a nobody from nowhere and although hewas rich beyond belief, he was one of the hundreds of nouveau riche who lackedthe cache of the old money set. Although Gatsby could offer Daisy romance, love,excitement and intrigue, her need for security freedom and money made hereventually choose Tom. In terms of security, Tom could offer much more thanGatsby. Tom’s old money could offer Daisy prestige and social position whereasGatsby’s money was quickly and somewhat questionably earned. Everyoneincluding Daisy realized that it could be just as quickly lost.

Tom states”I found out what your drug-stores were. He and this Wolfshiem bought up alot of side-street drug-stores here in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over thecounter” . Tom also said “That drug-store business was just smallchange but you’ve got something on now that Walter’s afraid to tell meabout. ” This proves that Gatsby’s money was achieved through corruptmeans and his lack of position would leave him vulnerable to prosecution if hewere to be caught. On the other hand, Daisy and Tom’s elite position insociety enabled them to “get away with murder”. They were able to moveaway and start anew after hitting Myrtle in the car.

Due to the wealth and powerof Tom and Daisy, they were able to live with a substantial amount of freedom. They were able to tear apart the lives of people and move on without as much asa backward glance. Nick’s judgment of them was “They were carelesspeople, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreatedback into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that keptthem together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. “Daisy’s selection of Tom over Gatsby afforded a somewhat unorthodox freedom.

Tom had many mistresses but always returned to Daisy. He said “Once in awhile I go off and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in myheart I love her all the time. ” Daisy also loved the luxury of having botha husband and a lover but Gatsby would not allow it. He wanted all of her andshe could not give that to him. She said “Oh, you want too much.

I love younow- isn’t that enough. ” Although Gatsby could have offered Daisy avariety of things such as romance, love and excitement, she ultimately chose Tombecause of her selfishness. She grew up with old money, security and freedom andwas not willing to give it all up for love. I believe that the author chose thename Daisy because Daisy in Latin means the day’s eye or the sun andeverything revolves around the sun. Daisy does not care about anyone else andshe believes that everything revolves around her! The Great Gatsby The GreatGatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitsgerald, is about the American Dream, and thedownfall of those who attempt to reach its imaginative goals.

The attempt tocapture the American Dream is common in many novels. This dream is different forfidderent people, but in The Great Gatsby, for Jay, the dream is that throughwealth and power, one can acquire happiness. To get this happiness Jay mustreach into the past and relive an old dream and in order to do this he must havewealth and power. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the story , is a characterwho longs for the past.

Suprisingly he devotes most of his adult life trying torecapture it and, finally, dies in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a loveaffair with the extravagant Daisy. Knowing he could not marry her because of thedifference in their social status, he leaves her to obtain wealth to reach herhigh standards. Once he acquires this wealth, he moves near to Daisy,”Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay,”and throws extravagant parties, happen,he asks around casually if anyone knowsher. Soon he meet Nick Carraway, a cousin of Daisy, who agrees to set up ameeting, “He wants to know. .

. if you’ll invite Daisy, who agrees to set upa meeting, “He wants to know. . . if you’ll invite Daisy to your house someafternoon and then let him come over. ” Gatsby’s personal dream symbolizesthe larger American Dream where all have the opportunity to get what they want.

Later, as we see in the Plaza Hotel, Jay still believes that Daisy loves him. Heis convinced of this as is shown when he takes the blame for Myrtle’s death. “Was Daisy driving?” “Yes. . .

but of course I’ll say I was. “He also watches and protects Daisy as she returns home. “How long are yougoing to wait?” “All night if necessary. “Jay cannot accept thatthe past is gone and done with. Jay is sure that he can capture his dream withwealth and influence.

He believes that he acted for a good beyond his personalinterest and that should guarantee success. Nick attempts to show Jay the follyof his dream, but Jay innocently replies to Nick’s assertion that the pastcannot be relived by saying “Yes you can, old sport. ” This shows theconfidence that Jay has in fulfilling his American Dream. For Jay, his AmericanDream is not material possessions, although it may seem that way.

He only comesinto riches so that he can fulfill his true American Dream, Daisy. Gatsbydoesn’t rest until his American Dream is finally fulfilled. However, it nevercomes about and he ends up paying the ultimate pirce for it. The idea of theAmerican Dream still holds true in today’s time , be it wealth, love, or fame.

But one thing never changes about the American Dream; everyone desires somethingin life, and everyone, somehow, strives to get it. Gatsby is a prime example ofpursuing the American Dream. Symbolism in the Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, byF. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about one man’s disenchantment with the Americandream.

In the story we get a glimpse into the life of Jay Gatsby, a man whoaspired to achieve a position among the American rich to win the heart of histrue love, Daisy Fay. Gatsby’s downfall was in the fact that he was unable todetermine that concealed boundary between reality and illusion in his life. TheGreat Gatsby is a tightly structured, symbolically compressed novel whosepredominant images and symbols reinforce the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists onborrowed time. Fitzgerald perfectly understood the inadequacy of Gatsby’sromantic view of wealth. At a young age he met and fell in love with GinevraKing, a Chicago girl who enjoyed the wealth and social position to whichFitzgerald was always drawn.

After being rejected by Ginevra because of hislower social standing, Fitzgerald came away with a sense of social inadequacy, adeep hurt, and a longing for the girl beyond attainment. This disappointmentgrew into distrust and envy of the American rich and their lifestyle. Thesepersonal feelings are expressed in Gatsby. The rich symbolize the failure of acivilization and the way of life and this flaw becomes apparent in thecharacters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story,quickly became disillusioned with the upper social class after having dinner attheir home on the fashionable East Egg Island.

“Nick is forced unwillinglyto observe the violent contrast between their opportunities- what is implied bythe gracious surface of their existence- and the seamy underside which is it’sreality” (Way 93). In the Buchanans, and in Nick’s reaction to them,Fitzgerald shows us how completely the American upper class has failed to becomean aristocracy. The Buchanans represent cowardice, corruption, and the demise ofGatsby’s dream Gatsby, unlike Fitzgerald himself, never discovers how he hasbeen betrayed by the class he has idealized for so long. For Gatsby, the failureof the rich has disastrous consequences. Gatsby’s desire to achieve his dreamleads him to West Egg Island.

He purchased a mansion across the bay from Daisy’shome. There is a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock that is visible at nightfrom the windows and lawn of Gatsby’s house. This green light is one of thecentral symbols of the novel. In chapter one, Nick observes Gatsby in the darkas he looks longingly across the bay with arms stretched outward toward thegreen light. It becomes apparent, as the story progresses that “the wholebeing of Gatsby exists only in relation to what the green light symbolizes Thisfirst sight, that we have of Gatsby, is a ritualistic tableau that literallycontains the meaning of the completed book” (Bewley 41). A broaderdefinition of the green light’s significance is revealed in Chapter 5, as Gatsbyand Daisy stand at one of the windows in his mansion.

“If it wasn’t for themist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You alwayshave a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock. “”Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what hehad just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance ofthat light had vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that hadseparated him from Daisy it has seemed very near to her, almost touching her.

Ithad seemed so close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on adock. His count of enchanted objects has diminished by one” (Fitzgerald94). Gatsby had believed in the green light, it made his dream seem attainable. Upon meeting Daisy again, after a five-year separation, Gatsby discovers thatsometimes attaining a desired object can bring a sense of loss rather thanfulfillment.

It is when Gatsby makes this discovery that the green light is nolonger the central image of a great dream, but only a green light at the end ofa dock. The most obvious symbol in The Great Gatsby is a waste land called theValley of Ashes, a dumping ground that lies between East and West Egg and NewYork City. Symbolically “the green breast of the new world”(Fitzgerald 182) becomes this Valley of Ashes. As the illusions of youth giveway to the disillusionment of the thirties, so green hopes give way to the dustof disappointment. Certainly Gatsby’s dreams turn to ashes; and it isdramatically appropriate that the custodian of the Valley of Ashes, GeorgeWilson, should be Gatsby’s murderer. That Wilson is the demise of Gatsby’sdream- and that the dream gives way to ashes- is made clear through descriptivedetail.

Over the desolate area, known as the Valley of Ashes, brood the eyes ofDr. T. J. Eckleburg.

“Gatsby is a kind of T. J. Eckleburg; he has created agod like image of himself, but the image is doomed- the dream will turn to dust-and like Eckleburg, Gatsby also has occasion to brood over the ashes of thepast, over the solemn dumping ground of worn out hopes” (Lehan 121). Thedeath of Gatsby comes ironically from George Wilson’s total misunderstanding ofthe world from which the Buchanans and Myrtle come.

The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg,brooding over the Valley of Ashes, become what is left of the Son of God Gatsbyhas imagined himself to be. As the novel closes, the experience of Gatsby andhis broken dream become the focus of that historic dream for which he stands. Inthe final thoughts of the novel, Fitzgerald would like the reader to see a muchbroader picture of the theme- a vision of America as the continent of lostinnocence and lost illusions.

He compares Gatsby’s experience to that of theDutch Sailors who first came to Long Island and had an unspoiled continentbefore them. As Nick lies on the beach in front of Gatsby’s home, his last nightin the East, he contemplates this thought, “I became aware of the oldisland that flowered once for Dutch sailor’s eyes – a fresh green breast of thenew world. It’s vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house,had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; fora transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence ofthis continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understoodnor desired, face to face for the last time in history with somethingcommensurate to his capacity for wonder. I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when hefirst picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a longway to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardlyfail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him”(Fitzgerald 182).

Gatsby’s greatness was to have retained a sense of wonder asdeep as the sailor’s on that first landfall. Gatsby’s tragedy was to have had,not a continent to wonder at, but only a green light at the end of Daisy’s Dockand the triviality of Daisy herself. The evolution of such triviality wasGatsby’s particular tragedy and the tragedy of America. Gatsby fades into thepast forever to take his place with the Dutch sailors who had chosen theirmoment in time so much more happily than he. By the close of the novel,Fitzgerald has completely convinced the reader that Gatsby’s capacity forillusion is touching and heroic, despite the worthlessness of the objects of hisdreams.

It is through combining faultless artistry with symbolism thatFitzgerald paints a vivid picture of the dream destined to fail because it’sbasis was illusion. not reality The Great Gatsby Cary L. Pannell Eng. 206 Roughdraft of Final Word Count 1328 Thesis: The Great Gatsby is a tightly structured,symbolically compressed novel in which predominant images and symbols reinforcethe idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on borrowed time. I.

American Rich symbolizethe failure of a civilization. A. Fitzgerald’s feelings toward wealthy B. Nick’sdisappointment with Buchanans C. Rich fail as aristocracy D. Gatsby betrayed byclass he idealized II.

Green light symbolizes hope. A. Gatsby’s beingsignificant to symbolism of green light. B. Green light ceases to be anenchanted object. III.

Most obvious symbol is Valley of Ashes. A. Hope gives wayto dust of disappointment. B. Death and destruction of dreams lie among ashes. C.

T. J. Eckelberg’s eyes are God-like symbol. IV.

America the continent of lostinnocence and illusions. A. Gatsby’s experience compared to Dutch sailors. B.

Gatsby’s tragedy was triviality of Daisy. Conclusion: Symbolism and artistrypaint a vivid picture of a dream destined to fail. Works Cited Bewley, Marius. “Scott Fitzgerald and the Collapse of the American Dream. ” ModernCritical Views F. Scott Fitzgerald.

New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1985. p. 41. Fitzgerald, F.

Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1925 Lehan, Richard D. “The Great Gatsby.

” F. Scott Fitzgerald and theCraft of Fiction. Chicago: Southern Illinois University Press. 1966. p.

121. Way, Brian. “The Great Gatsby. ” Modern Critical Interpretations F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1986. p. 93.

The Great Gatsby — Pursuit of the American Dream The Great Gatsby, anovel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the American Dream, and the downfall ofthose who attempt to reach its illusionary goals. F. Scott Fitzgerald was bornin St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896.

He was a student of St. Paul Academy, the NewmanSchool, and attended Princeton for a short while. In 1917 he joined the army andwas posted in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where he would meet his future wifeZelda Sayre. Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published andbecame a bestseller, which gave him enough money to get married. He waspublished at the age of only twenty-three and was regarded as the “Speakerfor the Jazz Age.

” Fitzgerald seemed to write his books, not for theenjoyment of writing alone, but for the wealth that cam with it. However, eventhough things seemed more than satisfactory at the time, things would seem totake a turn for the worse. Zelda’s schizophrenia and Fitzgerald’s drinkingproblem led Fitzgerald to rely mostly on his short stories for income. Slowlythey started to lose their appeal as well. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald ended updying in Hollywood on December 21, 1940.

But even after his death, his bookswould remain everlasting classics in the eyes of the reading world. Many novelsare centered around the attempt to capture the American Dream. This dream isdifferent for different people, but in The Great Gatsby, for Jay, the dream isthat through wealth and power, one can acquire happiness. To get this happinessJay must reach into the past and relive an old dream and in order to do this, itseems that he must have wealth and power. Jay Gatsby, the central figure of thestory, is one character who longs for the past. Surprisingly he devotes most ofhis adult life trying to recapture it and, finally, dies in its pursuit.

In thepast, Jay had a love affair with the affluent Daisy. Knowing he could not marryher because of the difference in their social status, he leaves her to amasswealth to reach her economic standards. Once he acquires this wealth, he movesnear to Daisy, and throws extravagant parties, hoping by chance that she mightshow up at one of them. He, himself, does not attend his parties but watchesthem from a distance.

When this dream doesn’t happen, he asks around casually ifanyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin of Daisy, who agrees toset up a meeting, “He wants to know. . . if you’ll invite Daisy to your housesome afternoon and then let him come over (page 83).

” Gatsby’s personaldream symbolizes the larger American Dream where all have the opportunity to getwhat they want. Later, as we see in the Plaza Hotel, Jay still believes thatDaisy loves him. He is convinced of this as is shown when he takes the blame forMyrtle’s death. “Was Daisy driving?” “Yes. .

. but of course I’llsay I was. ” (p. 151) He also watches and protects Daisy as she returnshome.

“How long are you going to wait?” “All night ifnecessary. ” (p. 152) Jay cannot accept that the past is gone and done with. Jay is sure that he can capture his dream with wealth and influence. He believesthat he acted for a good beyond his personal interest and that should guaranteesuccess.

Nick attempts to show Jay the foolishness of his dream, but Jayinnocently replies to Nick’s claim that the past cannot be relived by saying,”Yes you can, old sport. ” This shows the confidence that Jay has infulfilling his American Dream. For Jay, his American Dream is not materialpossessions, although it may seem that way. He only comes into riches so that hecan fulfill his true American Dream, Daisy.

Gatsby doesn’t rest until hisAmerican Dream is finally fulfilled. However, it never comes about and he endsup paying the ultimate price for it. The idea of the American Dream still holdstrue in today’s time, be it wealth, love, or fame. But one thing never changesabout the American Dream; everyone desires something in life, and everyone,somehow, strives to get it. Gatsby is a prime example of pursuing the AmericanDream.

This book seemed to ignite many, many thoughts in my mind that pertainedto the many points presented in this story. The basis of my report, which is thepursuit of happiness, and mainly the American Dream, has always been present inthe lives of all things living. The feeling of want for something better thanwhat we already have is the foundation of improvement in our world today. Anyonewho has ever thought that they deserved a promotion or anyone who has everbought a lottery ticket, has inevitably, at one point in their lives, thoughtabout something better for themselves. If they hadn’t, then they would not havetried to obtain the new corner office space or win that million-dollar prize. Inessence, this novel depicts one man’s journey through life, and once it is overwith, his want for his youth to return to him.

I enjoyed this book immensely,because Fitzgerald drew me into the story with every descriptive word, and madeit so that I was, in some way, able to relate and connect with each character. Fitzgerald has truly displayed the fact that, even though you may want it sobadly, dreams are made and broken every day.

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