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What is Gatsby's dream in "The Great Gatsby"?

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misfitkitten | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 14, 2009 at 3:26 AM via web

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What is Gatsby's dream in "The Great Gatsby"?

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 14, 2009 at 5:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Gatsby's dream is to make the lies and illusions he has created about himself a reality. His stories of a wealthy chilhood, war hero, Oxford graduate, honest businessman are nothing more than a series of disceptions all designed to lure Daisy back to him. Even Gatsby's relationship with Daisy suggests that he is living a dream by trying to relive the past. His actions are not only unrealistic they also serve to mask the saddest part of his life, lonliness. Jay Gatsby was willing to pay top dollar to promote his illusions as reality and in the end he paid the highest price of all.

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dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 14, 2009 at 5:02 AM (Answer #2)

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Gatsby’s dream involves him meeting Daisy Buchannan again, hearing her renounce any feelings that she ever had for her husband, Tom, and for her to love and live with Gatsby for the rest of their lives.  One of the themes of the novel is the achievement of the America Dream and this is Gatsby’s American Dream.  We know from the many times that it is mentioned in the novel that Gatsby feared that Daisy did not wait for him because he was not rich; therefore, Gatsby creates a life for himself in which he has become almost more wealthy than Tom.  Daisy is amazed by Gatsby’s wealth, mentioning once that it makes her cry.  Although this is all Gatsby wanted – for Daisy to say that she never loved Tom – Daisy reveals in one of the ending chapters when the entire group gets together at the Biltmore in New York that she can not say that she never loved Tom.  At this point, Gatsby’s dream comes crashing down and he knows that no matter what happens his dream will not come true and he dies thinking himself a failure. 

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