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The Great Gatsby

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A Dream Worth Dreaming

A Dream Worth Dreaming

Although to the casual reader The Great Gatsby may only appear as a poetic muse on the seemingly endless rollercoaster that is love, if one plunges deeper into this novel it is easily discovered that not only is this the quintessential grail quest but it is quite plainly a search for the American dream. Gatsby plays a duel role in this piece of American history; he is both the Holy Crusader, seeking his own personal Cup of Christ, and the Cinderella story of Fitzgerald's masterpiece. If this novel could be boiled down to its very core little would be left but this very sentence "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-"(GG189). This is the core; this is the beautiful epiphany at the end of one man's hell, this is the light at the end of the long tunnel of greed and hatred. Even if one only scratches the very surface of this piece, he or she would see that Gatsby's rise to power, his personal torment and inevitable downfall, and Nick's final realization about what life is truly about all lead to the conclusion that a dream corrupted is still a dream worth having.

First and foremost Gatsby is nothing more than a man in search of his own dream and he will let nothing stand in his way. Even if he and Daisy are from two very different worlds he still believes against all the odds that he can have Daisy as his own. As one can easily gather from the reading, Gatsby attains his massive fortune by falling deep into the corrupt world of bootlegging or by consorting with some very unsavory people. The reader can see that Gatsby destroys his personal credibility and moral values for this slim chance at attaining his dream girl, his holy grail. Daisy in her incoherent ramblings seems to state a reoccurring theme throughout the novel ""I know. I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything...Sophisticated -- God, I'm sophisticated,"(GG22) that is to say that she is constantly reminding the reader and her peers that she is above them in everyway. Now how could a simple Midwestern such as Jay Gatz better known as Gatsby hope to ever wed someone as "sophisticated" as Daisy? It is unthinkable, and Gatsby knows this, so he must change, he must take on a new identity and find wealth fast if he has even the slightest inkling of marrying the 'old wealth' that is Daisy. Once Nick and the reader are privy to Gatsby's private life it is easily discovered that Gatsby has been corrupted by his dream.

Then, of course, comes the inevitable downfall of the great Gatsby which further displays the corruption of his dream. Once again, Gatsby is swept up into a fantastic triangle of love, deception, and greed. Daisy and Gatsby are reunited and the flame between them is rekindled. Gatsby's overall motto, "Can't repeat the past...Why of course you can!"(GG106) shows his utmost disdain for regrets and losing. He displays this disdain by constantly trying to relive his younger years and his long lost love of Daisy. Nick describes his passion to relive the past best, when he states "He had committed himself to the following of a grail,"(GG142) the grail in this case is both Daisy and his dreams of wealth and power. Gatsby's search turns into a personal goal to improve himself not only for Daisy but for himself, he wants to prove to himself that he can achieve greatness no matter his background. Daisy is merely an excuse for the pressure he applies to himself everyday to improve and prove to his critics that he is worthy of their approval. Gatsby had a dream; he wanted something so bad that he would do anything to achieve it. "His incorruptible dream"(GG147) ended up corrupting the dreamer.

Finally, it is the realization that Nick comes to at the end of this masterpiece that truly makes it one of a kind. Nick is the reader's constant reminder of the moral compass of normal society. He states it best saying "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



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