The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald: In Pursuit of a Dream

Essay by eserkinHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...And one fine morning--So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." (189) The most prominent theme of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is of dreams. Every character is ceaselessly chasing the American Dream, whatever their interpretation of that dream is. Attempting to mold themselves into individuals that might satisfy their idealistic society, they cannot realize much of what one reading The Great Gatsby today can see. Their ultimate carelessness resulting from such single-minded pursuit of their dreams loosens their grip on reality and creates a melodramatic act out of real life. The idea of dreams, of a mistaken reality, controls the lives of every one of the book's characters.

Jay Gatsby is one character who shows an extremely single-minded pursuit of his dream, known as Daisy Buchanan.

From the beginning of his obsession as a young man to the time that Nick narrates his story, Gatsby's life centers around Daisy. For five years, he lives on his dream. He buys a house in West Egg, across from East Egg where Daisy lives, and as Jordan explains to Nick, " 'It wasn't a coincidence at all...Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.' " (83) Even though Gatsby has not spoken to Daisy in five years, he will not give up his dream. He finds it impossible to live a life apart from his dream, and every action he makes is directed towards that dream of reaching Daisy. The first time Nick sees Gatsby, he describes Gatsby's actions saying, "He stretched out his arms toward the dark...