It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning” (Fitzgerald 188) – Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace became a cautionary tale about the American Dream. But, holding on to dreams, no matter how difficult they are to grasp, is a positive trait. The positive attribute of this characteristic is seen in the poem by Langston Hughes titled “Dreams”. It states: Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go
Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. This poem emphasizes the fact that you are incomplete and only half-alive when you do not have dreams. However tragic the death of Jay Gatsby is at the end of the book, it can be assumed that Gatsby died a happy man. Gatsby carried his dream to the end of his life pursuing what he lived for: Daisy and everything she stood for. The seclusion of Tom Buchanan’s elite world created the breeding ground for his arrogance and materialism. He was able to control his environment because he has a prominent last name and money.
Tom did not have to work to be where he is in society, and for that reason Jay Gatsby becomes the likeable character, even though he did illegal things to get in his position. The differences between Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby reflect the different social positions, personalities, and opinions of wealthy society.
Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. London: Penguin Popular Classics, 1994. Gevaert, Hudson (1996). “About the 1920’s”. The Great Gatsby. June 1, 1998. July 27, 2005. <http://www. geocities. com/BourbonStreet/3844/#1920> Hughes, Langston. “Dreams”. ENGL-202 Course Packet.