The Great Gatsby Report Essay, Research Paper
“A Book Report on ?The Great Gatsby?
The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is about the
American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its
illusionary goals. The attempt to capture the American Dream is central to
many novels. This dream is different for different people, but in The Great
Gatsby, for Jay, the dream is that through wealth and power, one can
acquire happiness. To get this happiness Jay must reach into the past and
relive an old dream and in order to do this he must have wealth and power.
Jay Gatsby, the central figure of the story, is one character who
longs for the past. Surprisingly he devotes most of his adult life trying to
recapture it and, finally, dies in its pursuit. In the past, Jay had a love affair
with the affluent Daisy. Knowing he could not marry her because of the
difference in their social status, he leaves her to amass wealth to reach
her economic standards. Once he acquires this wealth, he moves near to
Daisy, “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the
bay,” and throws extravagant parties, hoping by chance she might show up
at one of them. He, himself, does not attend his parties but watches them
from a distance. When this dream doesn’t happen, he asks around
casually if anyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin of
Daisy, who agrees to set up a meeting, “He wants to know…if you’ll invite
Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
Gatsby’s personal dream symbolizes the larger American Dream where all
have the opportunity to get what they want.
Later, as we see in the Plaza Hotel, Jay still believes that Daisy loves
him. He is convinced of this as is shown when he takes the blame for
Myrtle’s death. “Was Daisy driving?” “Yes…but of course I’ll say I was.” He
also watches and protects Daisy as she returns home. “How long are you
going to wait?” “All night if necessary.” Jay cannot accept that the past is
gone and done with. Jay is sure that he can capture his dream with wealth
and influence. He believes that he acted for a good beyond his personal
interest and that should guarantee success.
Nick attempts to show Jay the folly of his dream, but Jay innocently
replies to Nick’s assertion that the past cannot be relived by saying, “Yes
you can, old sport.” This shows the confidence that Jay has in fulfilling his
American Dream. For Jay, his dream is not material possessions,
although it may seem that way. He only comes into riches so that he can
fulfill his true dream, Daisy.
Gatsby doesn’t rest until his American Dream is finally fulfilled.
However, it never comes about and he ends up paying the ultimate price
for it. The idea of the American Dream still holds true in today’s time, be it
wealth, love, or fame. But one thing never changes about the American
Dream; everyone desires something in life, and everyone, somehow,
strives to get it. Gatsby is a prime example of pursuing the American
It is a marvelously written story with multiple themes. It has been
described as one of the best books to come out of the United States, and
I cannot dispute this. It deals with the utter shallowness of society, and the
morally corrupt underbelly of the rich and the powerful. This is an excellent
story that is recommended who have the time to read it.