Two American Dreams

.. Gatsby, Daisy, Nick, and Jordan Baker, are at a hotel in New York holding a conversation which breaks out into an argument. It is during this argument that Tom finds out that Jay Gatsby and Daisy have been in love for five years and that they have never stopped loving each other. As Tom and Gatsby argue it becomes evident that Daisy does not know which man she wants to be with because she is in love with both of them because both of them are rich. All Gatsby wanted was for Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him, but she could not do that.

She knew that it would be a lie if she said that so she simply said to Gatsby, I did love him once- but I loved you too. This statement opens the well into which Gatsbys dream will eventually fall because it shows that Daisy is not Gatsbys woman alone Tom begins the undermining of Gatsbys idealist concept of himself by making Gatsby realize that he isnt what he has made himself out to be. He makes Gatsby see that he does not appear to people in the way that he thinks of himself. Tom describes Gatsby as a bootlegger, cheap swindler, and a crook. These few comments shattered Gatsbys self-identity because of its fragileness (Way 99).

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Tom washed all of the effort and determination that Gatsby had put into becoming what he was and earning what he received, even though his methods were illegal, with a few minutes worth of speaking. After the argument, Gatsby can feel a minor sense of victory because Daisy refuses to speak to Tom and when they are leaving, Daisy leaves with him. On the way back to the suburbs, Gatsby allows Daisy to drive his car. While driving, Daisy hits and kills Myrtle Wilson, the lady Tom is having an affair with. Gatsby and Daisy keep on driving and they act like nothing ever happened. Later that evening, Nick learned from Gatsby that Daisy had been driving when Myrtle was killed in the hit-and-run accident. Gatsbys love for Daisy causes him to be willing to take the blame if the blame if the death was traced back to his car.

If Daisys love for Gatsby was based on true love, instead of wealth and material items, then she would have stepped up and confessed to her crime especially since she was riding in Gatsbys car and it could easily be assumed that he was the killer. Daisy was not concerned with the well- being of Gatsby and this is shown when she is back at home conversing with her husband, over cold chicken and ale, instead of worrying about what might happen to Gatsby. Gatsby, on the other hand, worries that whole night about Daisy. He worries that Tom might beat on Daisy when he gets home. These things never happen but it is the fact that Gatsby was concerned about her well- being and Daisy was not concerned with Gatsbys well- being that is important. She is just a shallow person who does not know the meaning of the word love.

She is caught up in the times and in living the moraless and careless lifestyle that she leads. She could care less about what happens to anyone except for herself. This whole situation proves that she is definitely not deserving of the high pedestal that Gatsby has placed her on (Internet 1). This is the greatest blow to his romantic dream of him and Daisy being together forever because she chooses Tom over Gatsby in a time of crisis. It shows that the man that she truly wants to be with the most is the man she is living with now.

Gatsby realizes this and his life begins to be pointless. This is his dream brought to reality. The dream is completely dissipated and will knows it will never be achieved. It did not take long for George Wilson, Myrtles husband, to trace the yellow car which killed his wife back to Jay Gatsby. Because George Wilson wants revenge for his wifes death, and he believes it is Gatsby who killed his wife, he goes to Gatsbys estate and kills Gatsby and then himself.

This is the tragic end of Gatsbys life. All of his heroism, his rapid rise to the top, all brought to a calamitous end because Daisy did not love him as much as he loved her. Although Gatsbys romantic dream was already dead, his version of the American Dream was still alive and beaming. He still had everything going for him; his youth, money, and personality. Gatsby is morally superior to his fellow East Eggers and Nick acknowledges this when he tells Gatsby, Youre worth the whole damn bunch put together. (Fitzgerald 162).

To have it all taken away for something he had not even done was the greatest misfortune of the entire novel. Gatsbys death is made even more saddening at his funeral. Nick tried to make Gatsbys funeral respectable but only he, Gatsbys father, and one of Gatsbys acquaintances attended the funeral. None of Gatsbys racketeering friends came, nor did the love of his life, Daisy. Nick truly cared about Jay Gatsby although nobody else did.

He exemplified what a true friend is and did what only a friend would do for another friend. Daisy did not seem to feel a tiny bit of sadness over Gatsbys death. This is shown in her not attending his funeral and instead going away with Tom on a vacation. In the end, the most that can be said is that The Great Gatsby is a dramatic affirmation in fictional terms of the American spirit in the midst of an American world that denies the soul (Bewley 46). Gatsbys strong desire for wealth and Daisy, the American and romantic dream respectively, prove to be the greatest reasons for his grave downfall at the hands of a ruthless society.

Works Cited Bewley, Marius. Scott Fitzgerald and the Collapse of the American Dream. Modern Critical Views: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985: 32-45.

Mizener, Arthur. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby. The American Novel: From James Fenimore Cooper to William Faulkner. Ed.

Wallace Stegner. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1965: 180-191. Scott Fitzgerald, Frances. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1925.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Online: School Papers, Microsoft Network, November 19,1997. Way, Brian. The Great Gatsby.

Modern Critical Interpretations. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986: 87-105. Book Reports.


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