In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts Jay Gatsby’s dream of reliving the past and rekindling his love with Daisy Buchannan. This causes Gatsby to create a false identity; that of being a wealthy and prestigious man. Gatsby’s helpless love for Daisy blinds him from the responsibility he holds to himself. He has cast away his true character and personality only to become a shell of the person he once was.
Gatsby goes to great lengths to maintain an image of himself that he created with the belief that Daisy would come back to him. What makes Gatsby so “great” is that he dedicates his life to making his dreams reality. Gatsby spent years perfecting a portrait of society’s ideal wealthy man. Even the narrator, Nick Carraway, almost believed this act, “[Gatsby had] one of those rare ...view middle of the document...
” As Owl-Eyes points out in the novel, he did not believe that they would be real, showing how Gatsby bought the books for show, which implies that he is educated and came from old money.
Gatsby was not from old money, but was a country boy from North Dakota. Gatsby seemed to know that he was destined for something greater, practicing how to act like one who was wealthy at a young age. Gatsby had a desire to escape his circumstances and make a name for himself. The opportunity presented itself when he boarded Dan Cody’s yacht. It was a dream that he not only realized, but a dream that took him away from his responsibility of being who he really was.
What Nick admires about Gatsby is his ability to realize his dreams and his romantic idealization of Daisy. Gatsby has dreams and desires that he pursues, something that Nick first witnessed on the night he saw Gatsby reaching for the green light on Daisy’s dock. The “old rich” and the “new rich” of the Eggs were empty and had different ways of dealing with their unhappiness. Gatsby attaches his happiness to Daisy and makes her out to be far greater than she actually is. Nick compares the happiness that Gatsby attaches to Daisy to the way people attach beauty to a rose, “He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky…and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is…” A rose would not be considered beautiful were it not for way people think about it.
Gatsby’s steady demise comes from casting out his own identity to adopt one that he created for himself in pursuit of his dream of attaining Daisy’s love. Gatsby was blinded by his goal which conflicted with his responsibility of staying true to himself. Gatsby set aside this goal by going to great lengths to maintain the image of himself that he near perfected since he was seventeen. Blinded by his love for Daisy, Gatsby pursues a life of wealth to achieve his dream.