Great Gatsby Is Indisputably One Term Paper

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To Gatsby, this was the biggest failure and he was not willing to accept defeat. Though he finally realizes that Daisy's enticing voice-that "low, thrilling" siren's voice with its "singing compulsion" (p.14) that "couldn't be over dreamed" (p. 101) was actually nothing "full of money." (p. 127). The dreams of his future were the dreams that sustained Gatsby. "For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing." (P. 105)

The story is simple to read and follow. But underlying themes are more important than the obvious plot. The story reveals the tension of social class and capitalism that had started with the accumulation of wealth by industrialists in 1920s America. This was a massive time of dramatic changes for the United States and social class system had become very pronounced just like it had once been in Britain.

Jay Gatsby had become aware of this difference and this is what had almost killed him in his pursuit of wealth. All the time when he thinks he is pursuing Daisy, the truth is that he is pursuing that elusive dream called the American Dream. He is chasing something that even he is not aware of and he only symbolizes it with Daisy. Attaining Daisy would have meant attaining that elusive dream and when he is unable to do that, it literally brings an end to his life.

The extent to which a person would go to attain something is clear from this story. But Gatsby is not sure what he wants. Had he been clearer, he could see that Daisy was not his dream, she was only a symbol of what he had wanted like a fancy car and a mansion. But unfortunately he fails to understand the difference and is tricked into killing someone just for the sake of getting Daisy.

In his pursuit of Daisy, Gatsby also becomes a cynic. He feels that poor people never get far ahead in life. His reaction to capitalism is one based on cynical reality as he once comments: "One thing's sure and nothing's surer. The rich get richer and the poor get -- children"(p. 101). Gatsby cannot detect daisy's treacherous nature though. He is so blinded by what he thinks is love that he is willing to kill for her and willing to suffer endlessly for her sake. Daisy on the other hand is a selfish corrupt soul that has been rendered inhuman due to abundance. Scorning a person once she says: "I thought he knew something about breeding but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe" (Fitzgerald 39). She along with her husband presents a complete picture of corruption: "Daisy and her husband display their indifference to human values in episodes involving sexual exploitation and careless violence" (Fahey 72). In the novel too, it is said: "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."(Fitzgerald 187)

It is the senseless pursuit of the American Dream, of wealth, of Daisy and of things meaningless that eventually cause greatest harm to Jay Gatsby as he loses everything he had earned and in the process, loses his life too.

Works Cited

Fahey, William a.F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream. Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 1973.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli. Toronto: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1995.

Michel Foucault, "What…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Fahey, William a.F. Scott Fitzgerald and the American Dream. Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 1973.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Ed. Matthew J. Bruccoli. Toronto: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1995.

Michel Foucault, "What is Enlightenment?," in the Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), pp. 32-50.

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