Great Gatsby the American Dream Term Paper

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In fact, other than her beauty and her high class status, it is hard to see why Gatsby loves her so much. But Daisy's materialism, for Gatsby, is not a negative quality. "Her voice is full of money," he says (94). This indicates that Gatsby sees Daisy's obsession with wealth as a good thing, a kind of a way to egg him on to make something of his life. Daisy is Nick Caraway's second cousin but unlike Nick, she is obsessed with money to the point that she ignores human feelings. When Gatsby left to go to war, she ended their relationship. Tom Buchanan at the time was much more financially stable than Gatsby, and even though Tom strikes almost everyone who comes in contact with him as a rich, superficial person, Daisy loved Tom's money.

Daisy has aspirations to be loved and appreciated, of course, but between love and material goods, material and external trappings are ultimately more important, even though she is unhappy. When her daughter is born she says: "All right,' I said, 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" (17). Better to be rich than to know one's folly in marrying a man for his money. But she does not leave her financial and social security with Tom. Although Daisy's life also embodies the American Dream in the sense that she aspires to greater wealth, sexuality and desire are less confused for her, than they are for Gatsby. Money will always win, in Daisy's mind, even if it does not provide happiness like the American Dream promises.

The motivations and true aspirations of Nick Carraway are the most ambiguous of any character in the novel.
Nick has money and social standing, although he is not a member of the most elite echelons of society, he lives in West Egg, "the less fashionable" of the two Eggs, which indicates how careful people notice small details, details that often escape a newcomer to social status like Gatsby (5). Nick has enough money to live comfortably, though, and some social clout, yet he seems perversely fascinated by Gatsby. Perhaps this is because what Nick really desires is a sense of purpose in his life. He too believes in the American Dream of making something from nothing bringing happiness, but because he has everything handed to him in life that he could desire, for the most part, he secretly envies the fact that Gatsby has to scratch and scrape himself up from nothing. At the end of the novel, Nick alone perceives the follow of Gatsby's dream, the American Dream: "He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night" (182). But because Carraway has no driving dream and purpose and never realizes his aspiration of finding a deep and driving motivation to make his life meaningful, however superficial, he always seems unfulfilled. He does not want to maximize his wealth, or social standing above his comfortable means, and he does not love a woman like Gatsby.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1980.

The Great Gatsby." Study Guide. Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

12 Apr 1999. 22 Apr 2007. http://www.bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us/grgatsb.html

Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Changing Concepts of the American Dream."

American Studies Online. 2007. 22 Apr….....

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