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Written in the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby tells the story of the affluent Jay Gatsby, his love for Daisy Buchanan and the pursuit of the American Dream. Using the characteristics of America as Eden, optimism, and the triumph of the individual, the American Dream typified the rags to riches persona. The once less than prominent Gatsby met and fell in love with Daisy when he served in the army.
While Daisy's feelings matched his, she denied them, citing his financial status as less than adequate at the time. Gatsby achieves a great deal of success in many fields such as bond sales, bootlegging and pharmaceuticals, yet his unrequited desire for Daisy blinds him as to his own prosperity. Gatsby's life, death and the actions that characterize them influence the novel. The manner in which Gatsby portrays himself characterizes him as perseverance and optimistic. Gatsby shows his perseverance by refusing to give up his fantasy of winning Daisy's love once again. He conquered the obstacle of lacking money through hard work and determination, knowing that it would appeal to Daisy.
Gatsby demonstrates his optimistic ways when he explains that by recreating the past, he stands a strong chance of satisfying his dream. Gatsby says, Im going to fix everything just the way it was before, Shell see (111). Gatsby's optimism led him to hold Daisy to unrealistic expectations, design his perseverance and positive outlook. Gatsby's actions throughout the novel relate directly to his love of Daisy.
Gatsby changed his actions in hopes of winning Daisy's heart. He earned his living in order to purchase a house in the prominent West Egg portion of Long Island. More specifically, he chose the location because it enabled him to see her home from the comfort of his. Gatsby threw extravagant parties trying to impress Daisy. When Daisy finally attended one of the functions, her lack of enthusiasm drove Gatsby to discontinue giving them.
Fitzgerald wrote, So the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes, (114). Gatsby took the event to an extreme, and fired all of his servants thinking that Daisy found displeasure with them. Finally, while at the Plaza Hotel, Gatsby told Daisy's husband Tom that she never loved him. Through his actions, Gatsby displays the changes he optimistically made in his plan to win Daisy Gatsbys actions as a dream chaser ultimately lead to his demise. Trying to protect her, Gatsby withholds his knowledge of Daisy's involvement in a car accident that claims the life of Myrtle Wilson. Myrtles husband, George, asks Tom who owns the car that killed Myrtle.
Tom tells him that the car belongs to Gatsby. The deranged Wilson proceeds to assassinate Gatsby. With his death, his dream also died. Gatsby's friend, Nick Carraway says, He did not know that [his dream] was already behind him (182). The meaning of the novel, much like Gatsby's love for Daisy, is that despite the promises the American Dream held, it simply maintained its status as unattainable. Gatsby's love for Daisy compliments his character, explains his actions, and marks the path to his death.
Gatsby never captures satisfaction in respect to his dreams. His death shows that such a land of opportunity often proves an impossible way to survive.
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Research essay sample on Love For Daisy American Dream