Dreaming a Dead Dream
"Change is the law of life. And those who look to the past or present are certain to miss the future" (John F. Kennedy). These words depict the atmosphere of the great expansion and hustle of society into the new age of the 1920's. F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby is a social commentary on American society in this golden age. His novel presents the betrayal of the "American Dream" through the illusion of money, materialism, and social status. Fitzgerald uses Jay Gatsby to show that The Dream of wealth and social acceptance can corrupt the most innocent of people, as Gatsby uses illegal means to obtain wealth in his pursuit of unattainable desires thus leading him to a life of loneliness. Gatsby's obsession with the past pushes him to a relentless pursuit of his youth – a time when all was pure and innocent. Gatsby's misconception of time causes him to believe that he can bring back what has been lost, which becomes obvious as he replies, "Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can... I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before" (110). Gatsby holds on to his past memories and tries to bring back all of his fond memories. He believes that things are broken and he can fix it. Gatsby, having once embraced his foremost ambition then having it slip out of his grasp, is even more blindly driven in the pursuit of that longing no matter the risk. Gatsby's tragic flaw has been flung out into the air, as Daisy exclaims, "You want too much! I love you now. I can't help what's past" (132). All that Daisy undertakes for Gatsby is inadequate in his eyes. He looks for Daisy to leave Tom for him and to give him that feeling of innocence he felt when they fell in love for the first time. However Gatsby does not realize the change that Daisy has undergone, along with the rest of society. Gatsby’s lapse of time has given way for him to block out anything that is standing in the way of his motives, sending him into a blind chase after...
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