English 11, Period 2
05 June 2012
The Great Gatsby’s Ambition
In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald builds theme of personal ambition by using the setting and the characterization to show the significance of the main persona, Gatsby’s personal ambition. Fitzgerald uses the setting of East Egg and West Egg and characterization of Daisy and Dan Cody on the connection they have with Jay Gatsby. Jay Gatsby’s ambition is to achieve the American Dream. In Gatsby’s eyes, to achieve the American Dream consist of becoming the richest man and sharing his wealth with the woman he loves right by his side. Jay, based of his characterization, never sees himself as the poor man and he, with his power, would do anything to accomplish his dream. In the novel, Nick, the narrator, lives next door to Gatsby in West Egg and at time Nick notices Gatsby standing at the end of the dock, he is mesmerized by a green light across the bay. The green light becomes a symbol of Gatsby’s goal of reaching the American Dream. The green light, in the end, appears to be at Daisy’s house in East Egg.
A character that contributes to Gatsby’s ambition is Dan Cody. Dan Cody was the leading inspiration to Gatsby when he was a teenager. Dan is a fifty year old man who became wealthy earning his money mining silver. Gatsby was seventeen years old when he met Dan Cody. Jay Gatsby was broke and had no idea what his future will be. Dan Cody did anything that was possible such as taking Gatsby for five years to transform Gatsby to have a future and become rich. Back before Jay and Cody met, Fitzgerald describes how Gatsby will get any job he could possibly get to find food and somewhere to sleep, “For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam digger and a salmon fisher or any other capacity that brought him food and bed.”(Fitzgerald 104). In addition, emotionally, Gatsby was also a mess,...