Great Gatsby

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 3 (1152 words) Published: May 24, 2010
Chris Farrell
Pursuing Happiness
Why is it that when writing the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson stated that American’s had the right to the pursuit of happiness instead of automatic happiness? Did he believe happiness was unachievable? In the book , The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is in the pursuit of happiness trying by all means necessary to achieve this goal, the goal that all human kind shares, happiness. For his entire life, Jay Gatsby has been striving to find happiness. From when he was a young boy keeping a journal on how to better himself, until his adulthood where he worked as a bootlegger. All of these activities had one main goal in the end; to better himself and to acquire a higher social status. He wanted to forget his childhood of poverty and move on to a life filled with riches. By doing so Gatsby believed he would win back the love of Daisy Buchanan, thus leading to his own happiness. Through symbolism in The Great Gatsby, it is shown that though people may go to great lengths in the pursuit of happiness, they do not always achieve it.

In The Great Gatsby, Nick’s mantle clock symbolizes Gatsby’s attempt to turn back time and relive the past with Daisy, and in order to find happiness that is what Gatsby must do. During this portion of the story, which involves the mantle clock, Gatsby is at Nick’s house for his first meeting with Daisy since they last met five years ago. The mantle clock sits upon the ledge above the fireplace looking over the reunion of the two. “His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock, and from this position his distraught eyes stared at Daisy” (Fitzgerald 91). As Gatsby stares at Daisy he is remembering the past they shared and the love they felt. In order to find happiness Gatsby knows he must make the past reoccur. His entire “pursuit of happiness” revolves around this idea, which is what the mantle clock symbolizes entirely. Gatsby...
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