• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream'. Explore the theme of dreams in 'The Great Gatsby'. How significant is this theme in other American texts you have read?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'He paid a high price for living too long with a single dream'. Explore the theme of dreams in 'The Great Gatsby'. How significant is this theme in other American texts you have read? One of the principle themes of Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' is that of dreams - all inextricably bound to the American Dream. The ideology of spiritual and material success is one that is powerfully explored through Jay Gatsby's character and his passion for Daisy Buchannan. The American Dream is justice, liberty, equality and wealth which it claims, can all be achieved through thrift and hard work. The theme of the American Dream or the Anti-Dream has and continues to be frequently used as the central theme in American literature. Jay Gatsby's dream is to gain, status, wealth and the love of Daisy Buchannan, who embodies everything that Gatsby yearns for. The setting of the novel represents the status that Gatsby dreams of. Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby both live in West Egg, which is representative of 'new money'. Whereas Daisy and Tom Buchannan live in East Egg, which is inhabited by people with 'old money'. In chapter 7, at the Plaza Hotel, Tom, deploring Gatsby's advances to Daisy, calls him 'Mr. ...read more.

Middle

His real brake came when Dan Cody moored his yacht in the shallows of Lake Superior, and young James Gatz warned him of possible danger from high wind. It was at this point that the new name came into being, to match the beauty and glamour which Cody's yacht represented to him. Gatsby was rewarded with an education in the ways of the world from this opportunist millionaire, 'a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since seventy-five'. However, it was not until he met Daisy Fay that his desire for high status and wealth became stronger than ever before. She had a 'voice full of money' and although they were in love, they could not be together due to there different social status's, for, Daisy was a wealthy Southern girl and Gatsby was a struggling soldier. Gatsby does achieve the wealth he dreamed about as a youngster, although not totally legitimately as the theme of boot-legging, which was the illegal making and selling of alcohol, comes up several times in the novel. However Gatsby did not completely get the dream. Perhaps Fitzgerald is suggesting that it is impracticable to get the whole dream. ...read more.

Conclusion

She seems unable to accept that that wealth her family once had has been lost. Both Gatsby and Blanche do not realise that it is impossible to retrieve the past and have everything as it once was. In John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men', George and Lenny's dream is to be able to 'live off the fatta the land', this is the most important dream of the character's in the novel. Having their own land would enable them to have protection from an inhospitable world; this dream represents a prototypical American ideal. Their journey, which awakens George to the impossibility of this dream, sadly proves that Crooks is right that 'such paradises of freedom, contentment, and safety are not to be found in this world'. Fitzgerald said that 'America's greatest promise is that something is going to happen, and after a while you get tired because nothing happens to people except they grow old'. Although it seems that authors of American literature are anti the American Dream, it is probable that they are not pessimistic at all, except they are stating the importance of knowing the difference between truth and illusion that the past is impossible to retrieve, that in fact there is nothing wrong with having dreams and aspirations, but as Boorstin said, 'the dream is to be reached for and not to be lived in'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Beneath the Surface Glitter, The Great Gatsby is a Profoundly Pessimistic Novel. Do You ...

    4 star(s)

    However they both lead useless lives and float about aimlessly, like the dust, having become corrupted by materialistic issues.

  2. Peer reviewed

    The 'Great Gatsby' can be regarded as a social satire and an observation of ...

    4 star(s)

    Unlike the Buchanans who live in white palaces in the East Egg, they reside in the opposite side of town; the funereal 'Valley of Ashes' , a 'grey' environment composed of people who are rejected from the elite society. The Valley of Ashes consists of unrefined and uneducated people, who are subjected to a life long worth of fruitless labor.

  1. Peer reviewed

    What is so Great about Gatsby? The word great in the title gives the ...

    4 star(s)

    He takes Nick out flying, to expensive restaurants and has no hesitation about spending his money on him. To the reader this displays to us a kind side of Gatsby; I do not get the impression that this kindness is fake either, he seems lonely in the world he has

  2. Corruption of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

    understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. (P. 171). On his last visit to Gatsby's house, Nick realizes that Gatsby's belief in life and love resembles the hope and faith of those early Dutch sailors coming to America, looking forward to freedom and spiritual and material jubilation.

  1. Examine the contradictions in The Great Gatsby, including its narrative styles.

    But the reader knows that as soon as Daisy suggests that she did love Tom, Gatsby's dream has been completely destroyed, and his whole world has lost its meaning: ''I did love him once-but I loved you too.' Gatsby's eyes opened and closed.

  2. "The Great Gatsby" and the American Dream.

    This is also why Gatsby is so keen to show Daisy his house and his many shirts; they are a sign of his wealth and what he thinks will change her mind from her earlier rejection of his love. This also explains the recklessness Gatsby seems to show with his

  1. The Great Gatsby-The American Dream

    Nick tells him that he shouldn't ask much of Daisy, who has been married for 5 years and has a kid, and he insists that one can't repeat the past, especially in such a case. Gatsby's response is, "Can't repeat the past?

  2. Death of the American - Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman

    Willy simply can not understand that personality only provides an individual with a limited amount of opportunity. Willy doesn't achieve his goals because he doesn't realize that he can not rely on his social skills for advancement, but rather he must work hard in order to attain his dreams.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work