| ||”Gatsby’s story is full of contradictions. Enclosed within the glow|
|of his own invented world, he is blind to both the corruption he|
|seeks to realise in his dream and the impossibility of Daisy’s ever|
|measuring up to this vision of her.” |
|Outline briefly this ‘vision’ of Gatsby’s and assess whether it is |
|doomed or not.|
From a young age, Jay Gatsby yearns to be successful. His schedule of
things to do, written at a very young age, shows a boy desperate to improve
himself in order to get as far in life, and as far away from his humble
origins, as possible. Gatsby changes his name (from ‘Gatz’ to the more
elegant ‘Gatsby’), leaves home and gets involved with the rich Dan Cody,
all with the hope to increase his wealth and social standing. His ambition
Later, in 1917, Jay Gatsby meets Daisy Faye. To him, having Daisy would be
a part of attaining the success he had always dreamed of having: the money,
the status, the girl. This girl, however, takes precedence in Gatsby’s life
then, and for the rest of his too-short life. He falls in love and becomes
obsessed with Daisy. After leaving to do service in the War, he writes to
her often. He spends the next years of his life accumulating wealth by
being involved in illegal dealings. He buys a house on West Egg, simply
because it affords a view across the Sound of Daisy’s house. He throws
huge, lavish parties in summer, to which hundreds of people come, in the
hope that Daisy will too. Gatsby’s greatest hope, and greatest motivation
in life is that Daisy will see his prosperity, and love him for it.
Gatsby spends many years envisaging Daisy, upon seeing him after so long
apart, leaving her husband, Tom, forGatsby.Shewoulddeclare,
passionately, that she had never loved Tom, but had always loved Gatsby.
She would give up everything and commit herself wholly (to the extent that
Gatsby does) to a life together. They would live happily ever after.
Gatsby chooses Daisy as the object of his obsessive affections for various
reasons. To him, she is simply “the first ‘nice’ girl he had ever known.”
The women in Gatsby’s life, up to the point he meets Daisy, have been
coarse and have used him. Daisy, in her white dress, with her soft voice,
is something fresh and mysterious. Gatsby finds her “excitingly desirable”.
Her immense wealth contributes to her attractiveness for Gatsby: the large
house, the parties, the motor-cars. All of Daisy’s life is what Gatsby
wants and she is, therefore, an inextricable part of it. She fires his
ambition as Gatsby wants to be of equal status and as she represents the
American Dream: she has everything she needs.
These same characteristics of Daisy Faye contribute to the corruption and
the burning-out of Gatsby’s bright dream. The dream is doomed. Daisy lacks
nothing, materially, and is unaware of reality because of this. She is
above normal human concerns and, therefore, does not fully understand
normal human values, such as caring and sincerity. She is utterly spoilt
and cynical. Only her own needs are important to her, and these are largely
materialistic. In this way, Daisy is incredibly different to Gatsby. He is
materialistic, but he thinks always of others, he is considerate and his
vision of Daisy shows that he is a highly romantic person. He is an
emotional person, whereas Daisy blocks out feelings so as not to feel pain.
He and Daisy are not compatible, but Gatsby does not see this. Also, quite
simply, Daisy has no intention of upsetting her comfortable existence with
Tom for Gatsby’s sake.
Not only Daisy is corrupt and it is not her fault entirely that the
relationship with Gatsby cannot work out. Gatsby, through his naivety,
dooms his own American Dream. The first sign of corruption is his
willingness to participate in illegal bootlegging in order to gain wealth,
with which he hopes to impress Daisy. Gatsby’s greatest fault is that he
simply doesn’t see Daisy for the shallow girl that she is. His “vision” is
erroneous, based on nothing but etheral hopes.
This “vision” could be labelled “doomed”. Gatsby cannot live his life
without Daisy. A life with Daisy would never fulfil his expectations. Daisy
does not want him. But, just as hope cannot itself be defeated, though the
object of that hope can, the “vision” itself is eternal.