The Dissolution of a Dream in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Dissolution of a Dream in The Great Gatsby

A dream is defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary as: a

fanciful vision of the conscious mind; a fond hope or aspiration; anything

so lovely, transitory, etc. as to seem dreamlike. In the beginning pages

of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, the

narrator of the story gives us a glimpse into Gatsby's idealistic dream

which is later disintegrated. "No- Gatsby turned out all right at the end;

it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his

dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and

short-winded elation's of men." Gatsby is revealed to us slowly and
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What he wants is his dream, and that dream is embodied

in Daisy. Ironically, Daisy Buchanan, is a much more realistic, hard-

headed character. She understands money and what it means in American

society, because it his her nature; she was born into it. Gatsby

intuitively recognizes this, although he cannot fully accept it, when he

remarks to Nick that Daisy's voice "is full of money." Gatsby will not

admit this essential fact because it would destroy his understanding of

Daisy. In the end, this willful blindness helps lead to his ultimate

tragedy.

Gatsby is a romantic, a man who began with a high and exalted

vision of himself and his destiny. He aspires to greatness, which he

associates with Daisy. If he can win her, then he will have somehow

achieved his goal. Gatsby's wealth, his mansion, his parties, his

possessions, even his heroism in battle are but means to achieve his

ultimate goal. Gatsby is mistaken, however, in his belief that money can

buy happiness or that he can recapture his past if he only becomes rich.

One of these examples is when the epigraph becomes clear: the four-line

poem of Thomas Park d'Invilliers that Fitzgerald quotes on the title page

describes exactly what Gatsby has done. He has symbolically worn the gold

hat; he has bounced high, accumulating possessions for
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