Since the first spark that ignited the now radiant fire of civilization and humankind, dreams have remained omnipresent and universal. These dreams that we as humans have so dearly held on to drove us to such great heights, a level of life in which we live in today. It seems that people from every end of the world have believed that dreams tend to come true as the sheath of life unravels in the way that they want it to; however, over time, they realize that the mere act of living is a trial of survival, a tough and harsh struggle.
Subsequently, they find that these dreams that encompassed their lives, if not reached, join with the other obstacles that darken and trouble their path. Yet, we find that they also uplift our spirits and tend to our wounds in the “big picture”. Though dreams are sometimes achieved, but often corrupted and unattainable , the key significance is not whether dream itself comes true but rather the motivation and drive it generates to put meaning and purpose in one’s life. Throughout the novel, Gatsby adhered tenaciously to a single, grand dream: to love and be loved by once again by Daisy.
Even from the beginning, when Nick first laid eyes upon Gatsby, he was “[stretching] out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way… [and] was trembling. I… distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and faraway… ” (Pg. 21-22). Before Daisy married Tom, she and Gatsby were deeply in love; however, as Gatsby was a lieutenant, he was ordered to leave for war. Also, Gatsby wasn’t able to financially support her. Therefore, Daisy chose to marry Tom, a ridiculously wealthy man. Once Gatsby returned, his devastated heart did not let go, and he determined himself to pursue his only love through thick and thin.
Through this dream, Gatsby devoted his whole life to one day receive Daisy’s love. Every decision and every move led to a single explanation: to attain his dream. Even the parties that he threw were based on his dream because “he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night… but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her… ” (Pg. 80). The money, energy, and time that Gatsby used to throw these glamorous, famous, and enormous parties were all in hopes to one day find Daisy and attain her love.
He based his whole life around his dream and forced his entire self to the one he loved. Also, Nick found in Gatsby “an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. ” (Pg. 2) Gatsby functioned through his dream. His power and energy developed only through hope and anticipation to once again hold Daisy in his arms. His whole self revolved around her and the splendor of achieving his dream was what pushed him forward in life.
When Gatsby finally realized that his was unattainable and corrupted, he became dead inside as he “felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real… ” (Pg. 162) After the truth struck Gatsby, his whole world became different to him. He was unable to see the beauty in anything as everything became dull and colorless.
His life became meaningless without his dream and without Daisy. Gatsby functioned solely by a hope that he would once receive Daisy’s love, but once his dream was shattered, he had nothing else to live for and, thus, he withered inside. Much like Gatsby, I also held on to a dream that I lived for a few years back. On a school trip, I laid eyes upon a beautiful girl named Sarah. Her voice, her hair, and her everything moved me in such a way that drew me dangerously. Every move she made allured my senses and I yearned for even a single moment of eye contact. Her smile radiated throughout any room and contagiously influenced me to smile also.
One day, we finally encountered one another and consequently, my heart exploded into blazing flames. A billion sparks ignited a desire, a deep longing for her. Soon, all of me functioned for her. I became consumed by her beauty and all of my actions encompassed her. Nothing else seemed to matter but her and as time passed, my dream to attain her love grew larger and stronger. I would sit where I could see her. I would drop something for her to pick up so that I would be able to talk to her. I would sneeze for her to tell me “bless you. ” I would eat and sleep so that I would be able to think clearly about her.
Everything I did was for her and in short time, my dream became my obsession. Unfortunately, one day, she informed that she was moving schools and that’s when I was dropped with the weight of tons. I was frozen with shock and distress until my face produced riverbeds of tears. I realized that my dream has collapsed on me and soon my life came down with it. Nothing seemed the same as food was tasteless and colors colorless. I felt as if my heart has been taken away from me, stolen when I was caught off guard. I had nothing else to live for and my world became lifeless and despondent.
Through Gatsby’s pursuit and failure to reach his dream, we learn that these dreams are, though hard to believe, insignificant compared to what is created through simply desiring the goal. Many individuals become blinded by what they are chasing and everything except the target itself becomes a blur as shadows envelop the important factor in life: the journey. Though dreams are important to an extent, they are unparallel to the meaning and purpose that it establishes within people’s lives. They drive people to move on forward even through the toughest storm and develop deep within a motivation to fight through the struggle and agony of life.
What Gatsby experienced and what the world and I experience parallel in that many times, dreams held so dear can be shattered. The individuals who have longed to achieve these dreams become upset and despondent; however, during the period when they hoped, these dreams pushed them forward even through the roughest times. Gatsby functioned solely through his dream and made it his whole life. Similarly, we tend to idolize our dreams in a way in which it becomes the most important thing to us. Our lives are altered to revolve around our goal while everything else becomes a mere blur to us.
Gatsby, the world, and I were blinded of the journey we undertook, the path we walked in hopes to obtain our dream. We became oblivious to how the sheer thought of achieving our goal made us feel and how this drove us onward in our lives, much like how Gatsby was driven. Because of dreams, the real importance of life was hidden from me, the world, and Gatsby. We became consumed with the goal and the journey and the experience were distorted. Though every single individual in this world has had a dream, a myriad of them have not discovered the true significance through the pursuit.
Gatsby, the world, and I believed that attaining the dearly beloved dream is of utmost importance; however we failed to realize that the journey of seeking the goal through hope reigns supreme. It is undeniable that whether the dreams we pursue comes true or not sparks our first interest; yet we must strive to see past this to embrace the true beauty of life: the journey. We as humans will always dream as it is in our nature. In the lives that we live, they will always come and go and never remain; however the incentive and drive that it generates last forever.