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

It was the colossal vitality of Gatsbys illusion that ultimately destroyed him.

Extracts from this document...


'It was the colossal vitality of Gatsby's illusion that ultimately destroyed him.' Do you agree? The Great Gatsby is a story about the corruption of the American dream. Jay Gatsby represents a man with unrealistic ambitions whose dreams are destroyed by the sheer weight and magnitude on which they illusion are founded. His inability to alter to his goals according to the reality of the situation leads to his downfall. James Gatz was born to "shiftless and unsuccessful farm people", whom "his imagination had never really accepted as his parents at all". He was a poor and disenchanted with his lowly status and hence, decided at a relatively young age, to leave home and seek out a life of wealth that he believed he was rightfully entitled to. After leaving home he became involved in a number of menial jobs that failed to meet his imagined expectations. The colossal vitality of his dreams "haunted him in his bed each night" as he struggled to understand why he could not reach out and simply manifest his dreams. ...read more.


Rather than re-assessing the relationship and acknowledging that their love had probably been doomed from the start given their different backgrounds, he set out to win her back by acquiring the same lifestyle and trappings that she enjoys. Gatsby bought a grand mansion in West Egg and re-created himself, complete with elaborate and intricate stories of his past; lies which captivated those around him. Gatsby wanted Daisy to see what he has become, to show her that he is worthy of her and also what she is missing out on. Through a meeting arranged by Nick, Daisy's cousin, Gatsby was able to showcase his new life. Daisy was captivated by the immense beauty of all that Gatsby now owned and overwhelmed by his wealth and success. Daisy was impressed by Gatsby's lifestyle and possessions and he "revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes". However, Nick noted that at the end of the afternoon there was the "expression of bewilderment...on Gatsby's face" and that "there must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy had tumbled short of his dreams - through no fault of her own, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion". ...read more.


The elite they took advantage of his generosity and behaved rudely towards him yet he took no offence nor challenged them about their behaviour. Gatsby so wanted to be part of their set and was caught up in this illusion that he did not see people for what they were or question their motives. He did not see that they were people who used others and discarded them at their leisure. His failure to recognise this (and the unreal nature of his dream) ultimately cost him his life. Driven by the desire to escape his lowly beginnings and the misguided belief that Daisy Buchanan had loved him and that money (and extravagance) was what was required to recapture her, Jay Gatsby pursued the American dream. In the process, he acquired great wealth, re-invented himself and adopted the lifestyle of the rich and famous. The dream, however, became an obsession of gigantic proportions that clouded his judgment and destroyed his grip on reality. Wealth (and the pursuit of Daisy) did not bring him love, happiness and status but instead lead him down a path where his failure to see people and situations clearly (and re-evaluate his goals), led to his death. His grand dream was ultimately an illusion. ?? ?? ?? ?? Great Gatsby Essay H.Knights ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Extended Essay - A Dream Deferred Both Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and ...

    The poem "A Dream Deferred" by Langston Hughes describes what can happen to people's dreams throughout their lives. In 1951 Langston Hughes, an African-American, wrote "A Dream Deferred" as part of the collection Montage of a Dream Deferred. While Hughes was going to college and beginning to write, Harlem was going through a renaissance.

  2. More than anything else, The Great Gatsby centers on the colossal vitality of his ...

    She wants people to support the way she lives no matter how it may be. An example of this is when Gatsby tries to persuade her to break her ties with Tom but instead she asks Gatsby for more time.

  1. The Great Gatsby Creative Response

    and sadness (in the form of rain and tears) in the novel. Gatsby's neglected pool symbolizes how one can become so focused on one dream and the past that one misses what is blatantly in reach, in the present. All summer, Gatsby overlooked the pool in his backyard because he

  2. Manipulation of the Misguided

    Arnold Friend's remark from the night before, "Gonna get you baby", (paragraph 7) foreshadows his return and a plot to pursue his promise. When Arnold Friend arrives the following morning, Connie is surprised, but interested. The conversation between them primarily begins off innocent and curious, "Wanta come for a ride?", (paragraph 13).

  1. Consider the narrators role in the Great Gatsby

    The oscillating nature of Carraway?s narration between a desire for ?moral attention? and ?riotous excursion? also adds hints of unreliability to Carraway?s accounts. Sometimes Carraway mentions on the glamour and luxury of living the dream in New York when he had first moved there.

  2. Great Gatsby

    Also, it focuses on the fact that Gatsby wasn?t going to let any obstacle stop him from fulfilling his dream. So, James Gatz changed his identity into Jay Gatsby to fulfill his image of himself. In The Great Gatsby Dan Cody symbolizes everything that Jay Gatsby wanted to be.

  1. Portrayal of Marriage influenced by Love and Social Status in Pride and Prejudice and ...

    Because of lies and rumors, Elizabeth perceived Darcy as an arrogant and ill-mannered person. Through the rumors, Elizabeth thought that Darcy separated Jane and Bingley because he thought that Jane was unworthy for Bingley. Through the lies, Elizabeth thought that Darcy had taken Wickham's fortunes because Darcy was jealous of Wickham for getting all the love and fortunes.

  2. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald utilizes contrast as a literary device to emphasize on ...

    to dig beneath the surface for a deeper meaning of the characters. It is known that Nick paradoxically continues to like Gatsby even though Gatsby ?represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.? Furthermore, Nick himself is a paradox as he says that Gatsby is ?one of the few

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