Disillusionment in Pursuit of the American Dream
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Americans have a way of living such kind of lives which struggle for happiness. Many of them believe that happiness is realized through acquiring wealth. However, such an idea is doomed to fail. People all over fight their whole lives to make success to get to their intended goal. Such a goal is different from one person to another. These perceptions all have been defined by the American Dream. Fitzgerald makes use of the idea being in pursuit of happiness in the book Great Gatsby (Bruccoli 2-17). The author of this great book grew up in a period of time where people were seeking prosperity and happiness. Therefore, much of the influence he got in writing this book particularly was the time he lived. The theme of failure has been highlighted by Fitzgerald to develop Jay Gatsby character together with the struggle he makes to win back his True love. Thus, this essay explores the disappointment that engulfs Jay Gatsby, in pursuit of the American Dream as expounded in the book, “The Great Gatsby”.
The American Dreams differ from one person to the other. For one, it could be the creation of enough wealth to support the family and live a luxurious life. However, happiness is the peak envisioned by many especially through amassing insurmountable sums of money. The American Dream generally has become the pursuit of prosperity in material things rather than just happiness (Curnutt 23-45). In this classic American book The Great Gatsby, the story revolves around an individual, Jay Gatsby, a poor boy with aspirations of becoming a rich man to win over Daisy, a girl he has fallen irrevocably in love with in his adolescence. The author writes that the truth was ideally that Jay of West Egg could spring from his platonic realization of himself. He is merely regarded as God’s son who the author in a somewhat comic way says that he was simply a son of God as stated. Jay grew as James Gatz, on a Dakota farm which saw him change his name later to Jay Gatsby (Cullen 34-45).
The bright prospects that belied the future prompted Jay to change his name. The conviction that he would turn away from his dark past and face a promising future always motivated his daily undertakings and chores execution. He however meets Daisy as a young officer in the military in Louisville prior to leaving for World War I. Jay begins to face obstacles in his ambitions. He first cheats on Daisy concerning his past. He presents himself as a well off person that is in a position to move on with Daisy. Daisy makes promises of waiting for Gatsby after he lives for the WWI. Unfortunately, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan after two years. Gatsby at the same time was taking his studies in Oxford to attain education after coming from the war. Gatsby makes a dedication of his entire life to get Daisy back (Prigozy 11-21). This was indeed a humiliating affair. All the effort that was supposed to be put in chasing after his dream has now been changed towards something different. More and problems emerge as he indulges in illegal actions to get millions of money which he sees as important in wining Daisy back to his life.
His life turns into illusions and dreams of getting Daisy. His initial plans are diverted and his life is turned in a lousy life of throwing extravagant parties with high hopes that Daisy will avail herself in at least one of the parties. His entire life is completely changed and now lives with the intuition that Daisy will one day chose to come back to him (Curnutt 23-45). His journey to happiness and realizing his American Dream never comes his way. Even after knowing very well that there are no chances that Daisy will return, Gatsby is very committed in protecting her. His life is fully pre-occupied with Daisy such that he cannot find out meaning in any other thing. Gatsby’s obstacles to realizing his American dream continues to mount as he fills Daisy with a lot of idealistic faultless image that she cannot truly accomplish in reality and pursues her with an enthusiastic eagerness that in essence blinds him to Daisy’s boundaries.
The more we try to recall the earliest impressions of Gatsby’s life, the more surprising the result comes. He has gone through so much in pursuit of happiness yet his success is muddled up in a mild of experiences and life obstacles. As a result of the many life obstacles, his dream of having Daisy has fallen into pieces. He has been left out as a miserable piece of cowhide. Gatsby remained a captive of his identity based on the choices he made; one being Daisy who has turned away from him and the pursuit of monetary wealth ostensibly to woo Daisy back. The turn of events in the life of Gatsby is a true representation of the corruption that prosperity can cause and the unworthy nature of the goal same as the way Fitzgerald looks at the American Dream completely being fruitless in the 1920s.
As the prevailing vivacity, independence and hopefulness of America dwindles to the immorality behind the pursuit of money and riches. Gatsby’s character could seem be as a result of the American Dream quintessence. Gatsby is very convinced that if he can create a lot of wealth, he can easily win Daisy and consequently achieve his personal American Dream. However, the truth is that is not apparently going to take place. Fitzgerald (189) says that Gatsby’s dream should have appeared so close that he could barely fail to get hold of it. All the same, he did not realize that it was indeed behind him, some place in the vast obscurity far much beyond the city where the dark fields of the nation rolled on in the night. The last words of the book state that Gatsby had the belief that the green light or rather the orgiastic feature year after year recedes in front of us. The American Dream eluded Gatsby and regardless of whatever happens, tomorrow is expected to unfold in a very fast way. Gatsby past is very significant to his future dreams as shown by the green light (Prigozy 11-21). However, these moves are disturbed and muddled up by obstacles which he fails to control and manage well.
To conclude, the struggle made by human beings to attain their aspirations and dreams through surpassing and in the reconstruction of history is what the Great Gatsby novel is based on. Though the American Dream has held high hopes for people like Gatsby, it has all ended up sour, with less of the expectations met. However, that is not the real issue. The point could have been the manner in which we respond to the consequences and results of pursuing our dreams. This probably determines the eventual success of the individual. While we have hope that things can get better, we should also be prepared if the worst happens. The lack of proper strategies for fall back if things turn out sour characterizes Gatsby’s life points the inevitability of failure due to individual mistakes. The failure of such people like Gatsby to fully attain the American goal points to disillusionment, only that is self inflicted and the realization of the American dream is hinged on the individual focus. Life takes a natural course and does not make provisions for fantasies and if forced, they just vanish like air.
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