The Great Gatsby

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Imperfect Reality, Unattainable Dream

A dream creates ideal circumstances which are not ideal in reality. Reality

instigates the destruction of the ideal and therefore encourages one to fantasize about that

which is unattainable in actuality. In one’s imperfect reality, a dream is unattainable;

thus, one may often compromise or modify his dream in order for it to match or perhaps

justify the practical. This imperfect reality generates an unattainable dream. Jay Gatsby’s

disillusionment in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby permits Gatsby to imagine that

which will never exist. When his reality and fantasy collide in such a way, his fantasy

perishes, and additional conflicted dreams and imperfect reality ensue. Gatsby’s passion

is an exercise in futility because reality prohibits the execution of such a dream.

Gatsby’s passionate illusion develops based on wishes which cannot be met in his

reality. Human wonder allows him to envision his fantastic image; however, he finds that

it is “pervaded with a melancholy beauty” because the potential of his beautiful dream

deteriorates in his harsh material world (Fitzgerald 152).Gatsby fails to realize that Daisy

is the type of woman who cannot “be over- dreamed” for she lives her life in a concrete

world with which Gatsby is unfamiliar (Fitzgerald 96). Gatsby’s failure to recognize that

Daisy flourishes in the material world leads him to believe that she loves him, and that

she “never loved” her husband (Fitzgerald 103). Gatsby’s reality does not match his

fantasy, though, for he loses “the freshest and the best” his reality offers when Daisy

refuses to marry him (Fitzgerald 153). His reality and his dream become unaligned after

Daisy’s refusal; he begins to reconstruct and embellish his vision and consequently, he

exhausts and eradicates his reality.

Gatsby’s intention to marry and love Daisy is honorable until he exhausts the

tangible. He begins to...
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