Homework Help

In The Great Gatsby, what do we learn about Gatsby's dream-future in his ledger in his...

user profile pic

kgridstaff | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM via web

dislike 2 like

In The Great Gatsby, what do we learn about Gatsby's dream-future in his ledger in his copy of Hopalong Cassidy?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 2, 2011 at 6:50 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

It is important to think of how this revelation about Gatsby's youth and how he set himself to make a success of his life ties in with the novel's presentation of the American Dream. The American Dream dictates that anyone can make a success of themselves through hard work. Through Gatbsy's notes he made, it can be seen how totally he believed this, and how he shaped his life to be aimed towards success and making money. Note how his father interprets this note:

Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind? He was always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once, and I beat him for it.

Thus we can understand more about the course that Gatsby set himself on from an early age. However, being given this information now only serves to heighten the pathos of Gatbsy's death, as we see that while he may have gained some of the trappings of success, his real goal or aim, which was Daisy, was never attained, and it was his pursuit of the unpursuable that ironically resulted in his death.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes