What Is The False Sense Of Happiness In The Great Gatsby

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In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald uses the narrator, Nick, an outsider who is befriended by his neighbor Jay Gatsby, to tell the readers of Gatsby’s life. Gatsby is a wealthy man living in West Egg who is known for his extravagant parties. As Nick gets to know Gatsby, he begins to see the loneliness that hides within Gatsby. Five years before Nick meets Gatsby, Gatsby has a love affair with a woman named Daisy. As the novel continues, it becomes clear that Gatsby is still holding onto a false sense of hope that he and Daisy will be together again. In the novel, Gatsby, Daisy, and Nick are driven by a deep desire to be happy; unfortunately, all but Nick naively chase after happiness without ever realizing what they truly …show more content…
She believes that a good life includes being happy and wealthy. She is unsure of which quality could give her the best life. It becomes less clear for Daisy try to achieve bliss because as she is blindly trying to attain her goal, her idea of a “good life” becomes less clear. Ultimately, Daisy ruins any chance for her to be happy by striving for the impossible, wealth creating happiness. Barbara Tepa Lupack, a former academic dean and a former professor of American Literature writes about the characters in Gatsby and explains that while they are all trying to achieve their aspirations to create their perfect life, they unknowingly lose sight of their ultimate goals along the way and end up falling short of their dreams “[Fitzgerald 's] characters generally failed to fulfill their quests because they abandoned their ideals or perverted and debased the notion of the Grail itself" (Lupack 324). Daisy’s ambition left her with nothing, she choose to have money instead of love and thus, never becomes fully happy. Both Gatsby and Daisy fail to reach their goals because their desires to be happy got in the way of being able see what could bring them …show more content…
“[W]hat foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men”(Fitzgerald 2). Gatsby’s idea of happiness clouded his eyes so he could no longer see what could make him happy because he was so fixated on finding contentment through being with Daisy. When Daisy and Gatsby were first together, before she married Tom, the feeling of being in love made Gatsby happy. Unfortunately, he then associates happiness with Daisy instead of the happiness that being infatuated with someone gave him. Sven Birkerts, the author of A Gatsby for Today writes about the characters in The Great Gatsby and the flaws that Fitzgerald gives each of them. Birkerts writes that “Gatsby was not a fool for dreaming, only for not knowing how dreams intersect with realities” (Birkerts 126). Gatsby could not understand where his dreams stopped and reality began. His inability to differentiate the two became the fatal flaw that left him unhappy. Because Gatsby could not understand that having Daisy was a dream and not a reality, he could never truly let himself be happy because he had only ever associated happiness with

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