Scott Fitzgerald is a well known American author whose most memorable book, The Great Gatsby, depicts characters with traits showing them living, which is the dream. The American Dream is a theme in this book that is essential to its plot development and several of the main characters encounter their own version of the American Dream. What is the true definition of the American Dream? It differs between many people and that it is no different in this book between the characters.Shaping the book into an interesting turn of events, Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby all stumble upon the American Dream, living their lives how each would want to. While Daisy’s life is taken over and fought over by the men in the book, Nick discovers love, Myrtle begins and ends a relationship with different people, and Gatsby finds out that life is not necessarily all about money and the woman that he loves, Daisy. Daisy is considered a beautiful girl, although to the peripheral reader she may seem a bit perplexing. Daisy has feelings for Gatsby that have altered throughout their lives.
Later in her life, Daisy may only like Gatsby for his riches and because of their previous relationship. Gatsby also has lived “the American Dream,” according to some of Daisy’s beliefs. He is rich, elegant, and has made a living by working hard, or so she thinks until it becomes clear that Gatsby is a bootlegger. Daisy does not know exactly what he has done in order to make all this money, but she doesn’t argue with it or question it. Her current husband, Tom, can represent the average husband, but he is the type of man that can sweet talk his way out of anything.For this reason, he takes advantage of Daisy by having an affair, but also because he is big and just a plain bully. Like Daisy, Tom loves his spouse, but there are times when this may not be so apparent.
They come together and seemingly make the perfect couple to an outside audience because they both like to have their fun with others, but when it comes down to their marriage, they do love each other because they do not have any other choice. After all, they both said their vows. “’You two start on home now, Daisy…. Go on.He won’t annoy you. I think he realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over’” (142). Tom says this referring to Gatsby’s and Daisy’s flirtation ending.
Daisy knows she would rather Tom than Gatsby and that her fling with Gatsby is over now for good. Unfortunately, Daisy’s wishes for her American Dream had little to do with money, although she does like her men rich. She wanted to have a husband and her true love too, but with Tom and Gatsby’s dislike for each other, it is not possible and her dream of true love is shattered.Nick is the epitome of the American Dream. He has lived a good life, does not have a ton of money, but still is somewhat happy, though lonely at the same time. His little home is in between two mansions on West Egg, an island in New York. He meets a woman through Daisy named Jordan Baker and cannot decide whether he really likes her or not but thinks that there may be a future between them but in the end decides that it will probably just be just a fling.
For Nick, living the American Dream is having everything – money, women, and happiness.At this point in time for Nick, that is not a possibility. Nick has a strongly mixed reaction to life on the East Coast, one that creates a powerful internal conflict that he does not resolve until the end of the book. On the one hand, Nick is attracted to the fast-paced, fun-driven lifestyle of New York. On the other hand, he finds that lifestyle grotesque and damaging. His inner conflict is symbolized throughout the book by his romantic affair with Jordan Baker.He is attracted to her vivacity and her sophistication just as he is repelled by her dishonesty and her lack of consideration for other people.
About Jordan, Nick says, “She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage, and given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool smile turned towards the world” (63). Jordan has a lot to do with Nick’s American Dream but also plays a role in destroying it for him as well.The term “The American Dream” gets thrown around a lot, but it would appear to the exterior reader that Gatsby is the real deal in terms of really achieving the American Dream. He is rich, successful in his secretive business, and has many acquaintances who attend his famous, popular parties. Gatsby has everything he wanted in life, except for the one girl he wanted, who is Daisy. And even after he considers this, he thinks he has a chance to make up with her and make their relationship work, but he blows it and she oes back to her husband, Tom.
More than anything else in the world is the desire that Gatsby has to get Daisy back; more than the riches, the reputation, and being a war hero. Fitzgerald uses this technique of delayed character revelation to emphasize the too good to be true quality of Gatsby’s approach to life, which is an important part of his personality. Gatsby has literally created his own character, even changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby to represent his reinvention of himself.As his relentless quest for Daisy demonstrates, Gatsby has an extraordinary ability to transform his hopes and dreams into reality; at the beginning of the novel, he appears to the reader just as he desires to appear to the world. “This talent for self-invention is what gives Gatsby his quality of “greatness”: indeed, the title “The Great Gatsby” is reminiscent of billings for such vaudeville magicians as “The Great Houdini” (Millett). Referencing Gatsby, Nick states, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.