One would look at the main character in the novel, The Great Gatsby, and see a man exhuding confidence and esteem. Mr. Jay Gatsby though, was filled with inner turmoil, longing and obsession. His life was sustained on one minute hope, a dream that was never fully realized, even whe he thought it was in his grasp. Maybe, though, Gatsby's life could have taken an entirely different course had he made a different decision at some point. For, it is the choices that Gatsby made along his journey that ultimately led to life-threatening consequences. Early in his life, Gatsby chose to shed his past and embark on a new, more prosperous future, leaving behind those who cared for him. Gatsby then decided to devote his life solely to the attainment of his former love, Daisy, inevitably blinding himself from reality. Due to this deep obsession, Gatsby chose to pretend that he and Daisy would be able to live together forever in happiness.
The decisions that Gatsby made were not rational and were driven by longing and obsession. The consequences that were derived from these choices, ultimately led to his demise.
The day on which James Gatz disappeared and Mr. Jay Gatsby was born, was the beginning of the end. When Gatsby trod his first step upon Dan Cody's boat, it was as though he was proclaiming that his old self never existed, and his new-self would flourish. This act of rejection shows not only his self-centered nature, but his blatant disregard for others. The reader is able to see, though, when Gatsby's father, Mr. Gatz, returns later, that this family is extremely odd. After Gatsby's death, upon Mr. Gatz's return, the reader can see Gatsby's father's awe and amazement at his son's wealth and possessions. This illustrates Mr. Gatz's pride in his son, but moreover shows his pride in his son's belongings. Gatsby's choice to become someone else was driven by a passion to attain the "American Dream". He longed to become rich and well established, to be regarded as someone prestigious, and to be respected by those around him. He chose to attain this goal, though, in the wrong manner. His money was acquired through illegal means, and his life was based on cheating and lying. What he failed to realize was that although he would eventually possess the money and the objects he so heatedly yearned for, he would never be truly happy. Due to his obsession with the "American Dream" and his longing to forget his past, the reader is able to decipher that Gatsby was in fact, a fraud. His life was based on an unattainable goal, his past merely a figment in an unused imagination. He was not real in the sense that he never truly lived, and it could be said that he had died long before his murder. Gatsby's decisions to shed his past and begin a new "better" life was only the first step he took down the path leading to his premature death.
Upon embarking on his new life, Gatsby's obsession was then focused on a girl, later known as Daisy Buchanan, who caught Gatsby's eye, and what he thought to be his heart. After Daisy's marriage to Tom Buchanan, Gatsby decided to devote hislife solely to the attainment of her. His life was the driven by the hope of one day having her for himself, calling her his own. Due to this Gatsby's life became grim, and very isolated. He lived everyday with the hope of possessing her, constantly thinking and dreaming of a future with her. He allowed his obsession with Daisy to overturn and over take his mere existence, believing that he loved her, when in reality, he merely wanted her for himself. His obsessions also brought into the light Gatsby's disinterest in morals, and his ignorance of true love. He had no regard for the fact that Daisy was spoken for, he cared only to possess her, no matter whom he hurt or offended along the way. Her marriage to Tom was a mere formality, a nuisance, that could be quickly rectified. This obsession ultimately blinded Gatsby from reality. He isolated himself inside his mind, and secluded himself personaly from practically everyone. Like a horse forced to see in one direction by blinders, Gatsby was forced by his obsession with Daisy to see only the path that would be taken to attain her. Due to the fact that Gatsby chose to devote his life to the attainment of Daisy Buchanan, he decided to live life purely for her, which in turn, killed him.
When Gatsby and Daisy were reunited at Nick's house after all the years that had passed, one would think that the two would be in tears, embracing each other and reminiscing. However, the two merely chatted, talking about trivial subjects. One would expect the two to realize that they were not compatible, but thes two failed to recognized this. Gatsby chose to pretend that he and Daisy had something between them, that the spark could re-ignite. It was then then fully understood, that Gatsby's longing for Daisy, his complete obsession, had entirely overtaken his life and over-shadowed all reason. He was so devoted to her an had scrificed so many years, that he could no longer make proper decisions, let along recognize that they were not compatible with each other. It is evident that Gatsby was comletely under Daisy's spell, especiallly on the night of Myrtle's death. It had been Daisy driving the fated yellow "death car" that evening,and therefore, had been Daisy who had killed Tom's mistress. Gatsby though, took full responsablility for the incident, hoping to protect his precious Daisy. This decison was a direct cause of Gatsby's death as it led Myrtle's husband Wilson to Gatsby's door. After the accident, Gatsby had taken watch on his beloved, hoping to protect her from Tom, standing pathetically outside Disy's house, while Toma nd his wife casually at chicken while sitting at the kitchen table. Gatsby was blind to Daisy's disregard for him and continued to yearn for her until his murder. Had Gatsby been able to see what was real, and not what he wished to be real, perhaps he could have saved himself. However, he was so utterly obsessed with Daisy, he failed to understand.
On the whole, Gatsby's life was a sad one, full of torment, solitude, and obsession. He was driven by forces that he himself created to attain unreachable goals. He shed his past as fleetingly as a snake sheds its skin, forgetting its existence in an instant. He devoted his life to the attainment of a person so shallow, so uncaring, yet so burned inot his mind that he nary took a breath without the thought of her running through his mind. Even when she was in his grasp, when he could hold her, he still never completely had her, yet, he was unable to recognize, or perhaps chose not to recognize, this fact. These choices that Gatsby made, led him down a destructive path that twisted and wound to this demise. Had he chosen different choices, mad better decisions, he could have saved himself from the destruction and violence that ended his life. It may have been George Wilson who had pulled the trigger and shot the bullet that killed him, but is was Gatsby himself, who had put the gun to his own head.