Social Barriers In The Great Gatsby

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Register to read the introduction… Jay Gatsby is one of the more obvious examples of social barriers ruining one’s dreams. His great dream is a future with Daisy but it never is a possibility for him given his social status and financial instability. Even when Gatsby returns appearing more successful than ever, Tom explains to Daisy that Gatsby’s money is not from a stable source. Now that she knows this Tom is right to say to Daisy that, “[Gatsby] won’t annoy [her]. [He] thinks [Gatsby] realizes that his presumptuous little flirtation is over” (The Great Gatsby 142). Gatsby built up his life in order to turn back time and get back the dream he strived for when he was younger but could never achieve. Now he comes so close, but the truth of his life and his false fame come out and the game is up. He knows he can never have the girl, and the dream is no more. The idea of the American Dream revolving around getting the girl is a common theme in the stories, for it is also the goal of George O’Kelly in “The Sensible Thing”. George is trying to make a living in New York while he is in love with a girl named Jonquil Cary in Tennessee. His life has revolved around her since they first fell in love before he went to New York so he could earn enough money to marry her and support her. George’s hopes and dreams get a slap in the face when Jonquil makes it clear that “There’s no use …show more content…
However, as the saying goes, money isn’t everything; it cannot always be the key to one’s dreams. In Fitzgerald’s “The Sensible Thing” Jonquil is faced with the decision of whether to run away with the man the loves or stay and do what is best for herself. She chooses to do what is best for herself letting George know “{she] loves [him] with all [her] heart…[and] if [he had] been ready for her [earlier she’d] have married [him]…now [she] can’t because it doesn’t seem to be the sensible thing” (“The Sensible Thing” 312-313). Jonquil has dreams centered not only on being rich, but being happy. Her need to maintain a stable life and stick to a higher placement on the social ladder forces her away from her dreams. Social respect and the need to stay on top also prevent characters from doing what they really want to in The Great Gatsby. When Daisy first meets Gatsby in her teenage years she wants nothing more than for him to be with her so she would be happy. Alas, Gatsby has to go overseas as a soldier. She is planning to see him off in New York when, “her mother [finds] her packing her bag…to say goodbye to [Gatsby, and] she was effectually prevented” (The Great Gatsby 80). Daisy’s high social status would seem to be all she needs, but what she needs is not something material. These petty, materialistic barriers are the downfall of Daisy’s dreams; she cannot just be with whomever, she needs to marry into money, to fall

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