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American Dreams1

Updated November 1, 2018

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American Dreams1 essay

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Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!” Thomas Parke D’Invilliers Jay Gatsby went through most of his life striving for a new beginning, a chance to start over and succeed.

He forced that aspect of life, into his own, by changing his identity. He was James Gatz a man who’s unknown soul was left to linger in the past. Now he is Jay Gatsby. Gatsby does not realize that life can be difficult. You can not just move on and pretend that the past never happened.

If you do not face the real and original you, you will never find success or happiness in the way you wish to live your present life. All through Gatsby’s life he looked to the green light on the dock across the bay for hope and reassurance. He needed to know that his dream was still as bright as it was the day he met Daisy. Gatsby lived for an American dream. “The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that.” (Pg.104) Gatsby created himself to be his own hero, through the eyes of a seventeen year old boy.

He began to wear that gold hat and rise in society with money, friends, and a love life he dreamed of returning. “You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.” (Pg.71-72) Gatsby smothered himself in popularity to try and block out the memory of the man he was before his change. He has been grieving for a love that he lost when drafted to the war. His only hope left is a green light across the bay which seems to shine through the unhappiness in Gatsby’s life.

Daisy, as pure and sweet as the flower itself, is the only thing left that is needed for him to complete his dream. “He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say, I never loved you.” (Pg.116) We know that Gatsby is asking for to much of Daisy, he knows it too. “Can’t repeat the past? Why of coarse you can!” “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before.” (Pg.116-117) There is no convincing Gatsby, he truly believes he can go back to what once was. No one is ever able to relive something that happened so long ago. The past is behind you now, you must look straight ahead and see what is in your future. Gatsby did not want to look ahead he liked looking back better.

Looking back into the past meant happiness, and looking forward meant confusion and sadness. Gatsby had worked so hard to fit Daisy’s standards for a husband. He believed he was now a man who fit these standards. He was still the same man she fell in love with years ago, but he was now a wealthy man. Gatsby new deep down inside that the past could never be repeated.

You can never return to something that was wonderful, and have it be the same. He himself would never say the words because he did not want to believe that he dreamt an impossible dream. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning ” (Pg.189) This green light of Gatsby’s was an unknown part of the world to others. Nick knew it was something special to Gatsby.

The special thing was the unknown. The green light which seemed so far away to begin with was now so close and so real. It was so close and real that he could almost reach out and touch it. Gatsby dies with out knowing if Daisy had fallen in love with him again.

Was the time, effort, and money Gatsby put into himself and his surroundings worth it? If only Gatsby could have been sure of this before he died. He could have died happy knowing that his dream had come true or that his dream was a thing in the past and was never again to be relived. Everyone looks at the world through their eyes which are effected by their beliefs, and wonder, if one day their dream will come true. No one can dream without a past to look back on. This causes us to be torn between the two.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (Pg.189) Bibliography:

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