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

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Introduction

'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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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