Difference Between Dreams And Reality In The Great Gatsby

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Throughout history, the lives of the wealthy elite have always starkly contrasted with the rest of the population. Plutocrats would glance down from their golden towers at the masses with disinterest, too occupied with their own fortunes and privileges. The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, delves deeper into this division between the classes and the differences between dreams and reality. Set in New York during the 1920s, it tells the story of Nick Carraway and his experiences in the Eastern United States. He encounters the wealthy extraordinaire Jay Gatsby and helps him realize his dream of being with Nick’s cousin: Daisy Buchanan; this dream leads the protagonists to multiple conflicts and ultimately, tragedy. Yet the glitz and …show more content…
Jay Gatsby represented this; he was a mysterious, local celebrity who threw grand parties at his mansion on the West Egg. Underneath that layer of ambiguity revealed a story of rags to riches: a poor army major who went from having nothing to everything. A young Gatsby believed, “An instinct toward his future glory had led him to [St. Olaf College]. He stayed there two weeks, dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny, to destiny itself, and despising the janitor’s work with which he was to pay his way through” (105). As an average American, the promise of a better life through hard work motivated him. Now, he was at the top of the economic ladder, knocking on the doors of the elite. However, because he was originally poor, he drew skepticism from those on the East Egg. The East Egg represents old wealth, those who inherited their wealth from family. In contrast, the West Egg represents new wealth, those who amassed wealth through their own merit; as a result, they were considered arrogant and untrustworthy. Throughout the book, Tom Buchanan of the East Egg despised West Eggers and was suspicious of Gatsby, “‘I didn’t hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know’” (114). This culminated into a conflict between the classes, but in reality it was a form of discrimination, which Fitzgerald viewed as a threat to the American dream. Ultimately, it damaged Gatsby’s true dream, to marry Tom’s wife: Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby’s tragic death at the hands of George Wilson would end it completely. All of Gatsby’s hard work and accomplishments went into building a new life for him and Daisy. However, Nick Carraway’s contemplation about Gatsby’s dream was brutally pragmatic, “[Gatsby] had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have

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