Gatsby’s Pursuit of the American Dream
The Great Gatsby is about the American Dream, and the decline of people who attempt to reach the dream like goal. The attempt to reach the American dream is a common theme in many movies that have been produced. This dream is different for different people, but in The Great Gatsby Jay believes that the source of happiness is money.
Jay Gatsby is a character who basically lives in the past. Through this film he devotes most of his adult life trying to recapture it and, finally, dies trying to chase it. In the past, Jay had a love affair with the very rich and classy Daisy. He knew he could not marry her because of the difference in their social status, so he left to become the image she desired. Once he finally achieves this wealth, he moves across the lake from Daisy, and throws enormous expensive parties, hoping by chance she might show up at one of them. Although he does not like to attend his parties but watches them from his window. When this dream doesn’t work, he asks around casually if anyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin of Daisy, who sets up a meeting. Gatsby?s view of the American dream is one in which that he thinks that he can get anything that he wants. I think that this might be considered an extension of the American dream.
Later in the movie when they go in the Hotel, Jay still thinks that Daisy loves him. You really discover this when he takes the blame for killing the gas station owners wife. He also watches and protects Daisy when she is at home after the killing. Jay cannot accept the fact that the past is gone and done with. Jay is still sure that he can achieve his dream with wealth and power.
I think that Nick is the only one that truly understands Jay through out the film. The understanding that nick has is that Jay has not become wealth and powerful for himself. His true dream was to become wealthy, and to use it as a vehicle to get back Daisy.
Gatsby does not stop at anything until his American Dream is fulfilled. However, it never comes true, and he ends up paying the ultimate price for it. The idea of the American Dream still remains true to this day. Everyone wants what they can not have and some will strive to any lengths possible. Gatsby is a perfect example of this insane drive for the American Dream.
There is a downfall to the American dream and it is far from perfect. Society seems to break up into separate social groups over time. People of lower status always think that their problems can be solved if they gain enough wealth to fit in with the upper crust. Many think the American Dream is a door to high social status and when they reach this point they think that their worries about money disappear. Money, power, and social status are not the only part of the American dream. Jay Gatsby fails to reach his final dream of love for Daisy so instead he follows a life of extreme wealth.
My honest opinion of the films interpretation of the American Dream is exaggerated by extreme wealth. I think that the characters were sickening in the way that their behaviors were portrayed. However, I am positive that these same attitudes towards the lower class still occur everyday.