The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald takes place during the early 1920’s. Wealthy and high social standards were important in those days. Fitzgerald describes the way the rich were often identified as the “old” or the “new rich.” The old rich was demonstrated as the East Egg, being in a community born into money, and the new rich, achieving riches. Fitzgerald interpretes various themes such as: the American Dream, wealth can breed carelessness, and outward appearances can be deceiving. One theme that dominate the narrative throughout the novel. Several key characters, found out that the attainment of a dream may be less satisfying than the pursuit of that dream.
Mr. Gatsby, a wealthy young man, living in the West Egg, embodies this theme. He chases a dream throughout the book. At the very end of the book, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s not matter--
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back” (chapter 9, 189).
These words ended the novel and finds the narrator, Nick demonstrating the dream of attainment. And this significant theme, in this quote, is represented by the green light. Nick is informing the reader Gatsby, by focusing and finding way to achieve his dream or goal, is exceeding and re-creating the past. The green light is Daisy, who is a mistress married to Tom, living in East Egg, and is the love of Gatsby and his future. Gatsby is trying to recreate the past, his affair with Daisy in 1917. Although, throughout the struggles they face, their goals end up drawing further and further away. One part of the previous quote, “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther...” explains that completely.
Gatsby “wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: I never loved you” (chapter 6, 125). Gatsby tried multiple ways to get Daisy to think that she has never loved Tom, but unfortunately, the reality is, is that she loved him. The pursuit of this dream was more satisfying to Gatsby than actually attaining it. Another of the many ways Gatsby tried to attain his dream was by throwing extravagant parties. He wanted Daisy to notice him. He also want Daisy to know how rich he is, even though he’s new rich, and not old rich like her.
After reading this this novel,
The Great Gatsby
impressed me with its ability to tell timeless stories through characters that lived in the early twentieth century. Experiences like achieving the impossible through wealth and materialism, and what it can do to a society and to individuals. In the end, this theme showed that attaining some type of dream, any dream, is not always as fun as trying to get it.