Jay Gatsby: The Dissolution of a Dream. Talks about one of the characters in Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

Essay by Sam QsarHigh School, 10th gradeA-, October 1996

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A dream is defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary as: a

fanciful vision of the conscious mind; a fond hope or aspiration; anything

so lovely, transitory, etc. as to seem dreamlike. In the beginning pages

of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, the

narrator of the story gives us a glimpse into Gatsby's idealistic dream

which is later disintegrated. 'No- Gatsby turned out all right at the end;

it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his

dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows

and short-winded elation's of men.' Gatsby is revealed to us slowly and

skillfully, and with a keen tenderness which in the end makes his tragedy

a deeply moving one.

Jay Gatsby is a crook, a bootlegger who has involved himself with

swindlers like Meyer Wolfsheim, the man who fixed the 1919 World

Series. He has committed crimes in order to buy the house he feels he

needs to win the woman he loves. In chapter five Nick says, '...and I

think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of

response it drew from her well-loved eyes.' Everything in Gatsby's house

is the zenith of his dreams, and when Daisy enters Gatsby's house the

material things seem to lose their life. Daisy represents a dreamlike,

heavenly presence which all that he has is devoted to. Yes, we should

consider Jay Gatsby as tragic figure because of belief that he can restore

the past and live happily, but his distorted faith is so intense that he

blindly unaware of realism that his dream lacks. Gatsby has accumulated

his money by dealings with gangsters, yet he remains an innocent figure,

he is extravagant. Gatsby is not interested in power for...