American Lit. 242
October 12, 2010
Gatsby's Motivation for a Successful Failure As people, we form goals for ourselves, remaining optimistic about eventually attaining them. As people, we may develop an over idealistic image of the person we hope to become just to leave a margin for error in the reality we do not reach our dreams. The line between goals and dreams is thin separating the possible from the slightly unattainable. However unattainable does not always mean impossible. A dream is only impossible if focus is lost when it then loses its value and becomes just another goal.
The American Dream is said to be that anyone, no matter who they are, can become successful in life by their own hard work. If our future is determined by our own hand, we are more likely to change ourselves and do things that are uncharacteristic of our true nature just to achieve that dream or dreams. The American Dream is what is made of it. It’s an inspiring motivation for obtaining one’s goals, although if tainted by greed or wealth the dream becomes nothing more than a hollow and superficial shape of its pure form.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the main character named Jay Gatsby, portrays a man who is devoted to living his “dreams.” Despite his newly gained wealth, his past is not one to ignore because it is the very thing that ignites his interest for success. Rising out of an impoverished childhood, Jay Gatsby, then James, achieved his short term goal of participating in organized delinquency. From boyhood on, Gatsby loathed poverty and 2 wished for wealth and social class. His dream had a focus. Gatsby's less than fortunate upbringing was not his true motivation for acquiring wealth, but for the more vain reason of capturing the attention of the lovely Daisy Buchanan. His dream was to be reunited with this woman who he found to be the love of his