The story of The Great Gatsby is the story of one man's attempt to realize The Great American Dream. As Jay Gatz remakes himself in response to changing situations and personalities surrounding him, he never lets go of his dream, the hope that drives all his ambitions. As he strives to achieve the ultimate goal of Daisy's love, he engages in all manner of behaviors reflecting "an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person..."
Throughout the book, the contrast must be addressed - the hope with which Gatsby pursued Daisy, the hope with which he undertook various enterprises and roles that might help him to achieve that goal, the dream that was always just out of his grasp; and the reality of the lifestyle being lived by Gatsby and those who surrounded him. But the hope, the dream, was always there.