In The Great Gatsby, how is Gatsby's dream "behind him," somewhere among the "dark hills" of the United States?

Gatsby’s dream is behind him because it was based on a false conception of reality. He believed that if he got rich enough, he could win over Daisy again and achieve his dream of being with her. But through the events of the novel, the reader learns that Gatsby’s understanding of how to achieve his dream is misguided, just like the American Dream itself is.

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Gatsby’s dream is “behind him” because it was based on a misunderstanding about what was necessary to achieve it, an understanding that he developed in his past. Gatsby dreamed of having a relationship with Daisy again, and hoped to achieve this goal through getting rich. Recall how Daisy lives in East Egg, as a member of old money society. She was brought up in a world of generational values, and a strict set of social norms. Gatsby believed that if he amassed enough money, he could become a member of Daisy’s society and be with her again.

But all throughout the book, the reader learns that the economic basis for Gatsby’s dream was wildly misguided. For example, consider the first time Nick goes to one of Gatsby’s party. After the party ends, Nick notes that a “sudden emptiness seemed to flow from the windows” and that Gatsby stood on the porch in “complete isolation” (Fitzgerald 56). Such a contrasting description between this lonely scene and the luxurious party...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 994 words.)

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