It is human nature to hope and dream; what lessons does The Great Gatsby present about hopes and dreams?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the novel, Gatsby is defined by his dreams, and his life is determined by them. It could be said that he, in fact, died for the greatest of his dreams--to repeat his past with Daisy. It is important, however, to recognize that there is a significant difference between Jimmy Gatz growing up in North Dakota and Jay Gatsby of West Egg.

As a boy, Jimmy Gatz dreamed of a successful life far removed from his poverty-stricken upbringing. He longed for romance and beauty, a glamorous life infused with mystery and enchantment. He hoped and dreamed, but he also worked and planned. His journal shows his attitude and efforts to secure the future he wanted. After running away from home, he attended college for a short time, but soon left. He did not want to continue working as a janitor to pay his tuition, and he was in a hurry. He had no time or inclination for work and study, as he once had. Even though his attitude had changed at this point, his dreams were still...

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