Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby.

Essay by bigproofCollege, Undergraduate November 2003

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Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby dedicate their lives to searching for different versions of the American Dream, but because they have distorted views of themselves and the world they live in, neither is able to reach his goals. Gatsby's only motivation becoming rich is to win Daisy Buchanan's heart. Gatsby throws lavish parties and lies about his background in an attempt to prove to Daisy that he is worthy of her. Similarly, Willy comes home to his family and brags about the sales he has made, when in reality, his boasts are mere lies that he tells in order to be loved by his family and others. Both characters value fame and fortune, and their superficial lives are based on lies that they tell to impress other people. When Willy and Gatsby fail to attain their dreams the only thing left for them to do is die.

Gatsby believes that Daisy embodies everything that the American Dream stands for. When Gatsby was a military officer he met Daisy Buchanan and immediately fell in love with her grace, charm and affluence; everything that he desired so much in life. Daisy promised to wait for him when he returned from the war but ended up marrying Tom Buchanan. From that point on Gatsby dedicates his whole life to being rich and marrying Daisy. Gatsby's life is surrounded by illusions and he even changes his name from Jay Gatz to Jay Gatsby to create a re-invention of himself. Gatsby's new life is composed of lies and rumors that he hopes will appeal to Daisy. Gatsby throws huge parties every weekend to capture the heart of Daisy and is concerned whether or not she enjoys herself at the parties. At the end of...