Jay Gatsby's Dream

Thomas Sulski

He had a dream.

Jay Gatsby had a dream. Most Americans during his time had the dream to get as rich as they possibly could, but that wasn't his dream. Gaining as much wealth as possible was only a tool he could use so he could try to fulfill his dream, and that would be to win over the heart of a woman he had met while he was at war. "...Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock....his dream must have seemed so close..." (Fitzgerald 180) To many people this would seem like an easy dream, but while he was at war this woman had gone and gotten married to another man. Gatsby believed that if he could show her that he was richer than the man she had chosen then he would be able to win her over and claim her as his own. When Gatsby "... Stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way" (Fitzgerald 20) he is stretching his arms out to the one thing that makes him think of his lost love, Daisy.

Green Money

The color green is present all throughout the novel. From my interpretation, green only shows up when Daisy or Gatsby are involved in the book, like the ..."Green light that burns all night at the end of your [Daisy's] dock." (Fitzgerald 92) Gatsby believes that Daisy and he are meant to be together, so he becomes obsessed with the green light. he "... believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes us," (Fitzgerald 180) meaning that he believed that Daisy and he had a future together. Money is green, and because Gatsby believed that the only way he could win Daisy back was to be wealthy, he did whatever he could to gain as much wealth as possible even if it required illegal or questionable means.

A Shady Character

In the book, Gatsby is first portrayed as a determined character. He did not know where Daisy would be, but he knew that if he threw large and extravagant parties then word would soon get out and get to her. Nick, the narrator hears "... music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights..." (Fitzgerald 39) The parties were not working, and Gatsby soon became friends with his neighbor Nick. Jordan Baker, a friend of Daisy's recognized what Gatsby was trying to do so Jordan convinced Nick to "... invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over." (Fitzgerald 78).

A man and money

In my opinion, a perfect symbol for Gatsby would be money. The paper money we have in circulation are not actually worth anything, but are really just worthless. The thing that makes them valuable is the promise that somewhere hidden from us there is a bit of gold or silver that actually does back up the paper we carry around with us. Gatsby is like this because the person he has turned out to be isn't the man he should be. Instead, people believe that there is more to him without actually knowing for sure that there is, even though he is right there in front of them able to answer any questions. Money can be torn, destroyed, and even fades as it passes from person to person, and Gatsby had been shaped by many men in his life like Dan Cody. Cody was a rich man, and had a yacht that "... represented all of the beauty and glamour in the world." (Fitzgerald 100) to the young Gatsby. At that point, he decided that he was going to grow up to be a rich man.

Shattered Dreams

Gatsby's primary dream does not come true, no matter how hard he tries. Although his secondary dream, which was to become a wealthy man, does come true, he can not use it to lure Daisy back to him like he had planned. His father said "Jimmy was bound to get ahead." (Fitzgerald 173) meaning that his secondary dream was not a problem. What Gatsby's dream had ultimately cost him was his life, "... a thin red circle in the water" (Fitzgerald 162). His dream also cost him many friends and close relatives, because at his funeral, it "...wasn't any use. Nobody came." (Fitzgerald 174)


Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1925. Print.

Noer, Michael. "In Pictures: The Most Expensive Fictional Homes." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012.