Why did Daisy choose Tom in the end??? In the novel “The Great
Gatsby”, Daisy Buchanan was faced with an enormous decision. She had to
choose between Tom; her husband and Jay Gatsby; her lover. Gatsby seemed to be
the ideal man of his time. Fabulously wealthy, handsome, charismatic and
intriguing, he seemed to be able to offer everything a woman could want. All he
wanted in return was Daisys complete unconditional love. Tom, on the other
hand could offer Daisy money, security and freedom. Ultimately Daisy chose the
latter. The roaring 20s was an era of total decadence. The first World War
had ended and industry was booming. People were becoming millionaires overnight.

There seemed to be no end in sight to the prosperity. Although people were
becoming rich quickly, old money provided more privilege than new money. Tom
Buchanan came from old money. He was a Westerner who was renowned in college for
both his football skills and his supremely decadent lifestyle. The narrator
states “His family were enormously wealthy, even in college his freedom
with money was a matter for reproach-but now hed left Chicago and come East
in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance, he brought down a
string of polo ponies from Lake Forest.” Daisy chose to marry Tom because
of his wealth and power. Fitzgerald writes “There was a wholesome bulkiness
about his person and his position and Daisy was flattered.” He could offer
Daisy prestige in addition to all the old money one could dream of. Gatsby had
made his money by illegal means. He was a nobody from nowhere and although he
was rich beyond belief, he was one of the hundreds of nouveau riche who lacked
the cache of the old money set. Although Gatsby could offer Daisy romance, love,
excitement and intrigue, her need for security freedom and money made her
eventually choose Tom. In terms of security, Tom could offer much more than
Gatsby. Toms old money could offer Daisy prestige and social position whereas
Gatsbys money was quickly and somewhat questionably earned. Everyone
including Daisy realized that it could be just as quickly lost. Tom states
“I found out what your drug-stores were. He and this Wolfshiem bought up a
lot of side-street drug-stores here in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the
counter” . Tom also said “That drug-store business was just small
change but youve got something on now that Walters afraid to tell me
about.” This proves that Gatsbys money was achieved through corrupt
means and his lack of position would leave him vulnerable to prosecution if he
were to be caught. On the other hand, Daisy and Toms elite position in
society enabled them to “get away with murder”. They were able to move
away and start anew after hitting Myrtle in the car. Due to the wealth and power
of Tom and Daisy, they were able to live with a substantial amount of freedom.

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They were able to tear apart the lives of people and move on without as much as
a backward glance. Nicks judgment of them was “They were careless
people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated
back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept
them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Daisys selection of Tom over Gatsby afforded a somewhat unorthodox freedom.

Tom had many mistresses but always returned to Daisy. He said “Once in a
while I go off and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my
heart I love her all the time.” Daisy also loved the luxury of having both
a husband and a lover but Gatsby would not allow it. He wanted all of her and
she could not give that to him. She said “Oh, you want too much. I love you
now- isnt that enough.” Although Gatsby could have offered Daisy a
variety of things such as romance, love and excitement, she ultimately chose Tom
because of her selfishness. She grew up with old money, security and freedom and
was not willing to give it all up for love. I believe that the author chose the
name Daisy because Daisy in Latin means the days eye or the sun and
everything revolves around the sun. Daisy does not care about anyone else and
she believes that everything revolves around her! The Great Gatsby The Great
Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitsgerald, is about the American Dream, and the
downfall of those who attempt to reach its imaginative goals. The attempt to
capture the American Dream is common in many novels. This dream is different for
fidderent 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 main character of the story , is a character
who longs for the past. Suprisingly 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 extravagant Daisy. Knowing he could not marry her because of the
difference in their social status, he leaves her to obtain wealth to reach her
high 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, happen,he asks around casually if anyone knows
her. Soon he meet Nick Carraway, a cousin of Daisy, who agrees to set up a
meeting, “He wants to know… if you’ll invite 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 American
Dream is not material possessions, although it may seem that way. He only comes
into riches so that he can fulfill his true American 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 pirce 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 Dream. Symbolism in the Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby, by
F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a novel about one man’s disenchantment with the American
dream. In the story we get a glimpse into the life of Jay Gatsby, a man who
aspired to achieve a position among the American rich to win the heart of his
true love, Daisy Fay. Gatsby’s downfall was in the fact that he was unable to
determine that concealed boundary between reality and illusion in his life. The
Great Gatsby is a tightly structured, symbolically compressed novel whose
predominant images and symbols reinforce the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on
borrowed time. Fitzgerald perfectly understood the inadequacy of Gatsby’s
romantic view of wealth. At a young age he met and fell in love with Ginevra
King, a Chicago girl who enjoyed the wealth and social position to which
Fitzgerald was always drawn. After being rejected by Ginevra because of his
lower social standing, Fitzgerald came away with a sense of social inadequacy, a
deep hurt, and a longing for the girl beyond attainment. This disappointment
grew into distrust and envy of the American rich and their lifestyle. These
personal feelings are expressed in Gatsby. The rich symbolize the failure of a
civilization and the way of life and this flaw becomes apparent in the
characters of Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story,
quickly became disillusioned with the upper social class after having dinner at
their home on the fashionable East Egg Island. “Nick is forced unwillingly
to observe the violent contrast between their opportunities- what is implied by
the gracious surface of their existence- and the seamy underside which is it’s
reality” (Way 93). In the Buchanans, and in Nick’s reaction to them,
Fitzgerald shows us how completely the American upper class has failed to become
an aristocracy. The Buchanans represent cowardice, corruption, and the demise of
Gatsby’s dream Gatsby, unlike Fitzgerald himself, never discovers how he has
been betrayed by the class he has idealized for so long. For Gatsby, the failure
of the rich has disastrous consequences. Gatsby’s desire to achieve his dream
leads him to West Egg Island. He purchased a mansion across the bay from Daisy’s
home. There is a green light at the end of Daisy’s dock that is visible at night
from the windows and lawn of Gatsby’s house. This green light is one of the
central symbols of the novel. In chapter one, Nick observes Gatsby in the dark
as he looks longingly across the bay with arms stretched outward toward the
green light. It becomes apparent, as the story progresses that “the whole
being of Gatsby exists only in relation to what the green light symbolizes This
first sight, that we have of Gatsby, is a ritualistic tableau that literally
contains the meaning of the completed book” (Bewley 41). A broader
definition of the green light’s significance is revealed in Chapter 5, as Gatsby
and Daisy stand at one of the windows in his mansion. “If it wasn’t for the
mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always
have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”
“Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he
had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of
that light had vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had
separated him from Daisy it has seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It
had seemed so close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a
dock. His count of enchanted objects has diminished by one” (Fitzgerald
94). Gatsby had believed in the green light, it made his dream seem attainable.

Upon meeting Daisy again, after a five-year separation, Gatsby discovers that
sometimes attaining a desired object can bring a sense of loss rather than
fulfillment. It is when Gatsby makes this discovery that the green light is no
longer the central image of a great dream, but only a green light at the end of
a dock. The most obvious symbol in The Great Gatsby is a waste land called the
Valley of Ashes, a dumping ground that lies between East and West Egg and New
York City. Symbolically “the green breast of the new world”
(Fitzgerald 182) becomes this Valley of Ashes. As the illusions of youth give
way to the disillusionment of the thirties, so green hopes give way to the dust
of disappointment. Certainly Gatsby’s dreams turn to ashes; and it is
dramatically appropriate that the custodian of the Valley of Ashes, George
Wilson, should be Gatsby’s murderer. That Wilson is the demise of Gatsby’s
dream- and that the dream gives way to ashes- is made clear through descriptive
detail. Over the desolate area, known as the Valley of Ashes, brood the eyes of
Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. “Gatsby is a kind of T. J. Eckleburg; he has created a
god like image of himself, but the image is doomed- the dream will turn to dust-
and like Eckleburg, Gatsby also has occasion to brood over the ashes of the
past, over the solemn dumping ground of worn out hopes” (Lehan 121). The
death of Gatsby comes ironically from George Wilson’s total misunderstanding of
the world from which the Buchanans and Myrtle come. The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg,
brooding over the Valley of Ashes, become what is left of the Son of God Gatsby
has imagined himself to be. As the novel closes, the experience of Gatsby and
his broken dream become the focus of that historic dream for which he stands. In
the final thoughts of the novel, Fitzgerald would like the reader to see a much
broader picture of the theme- a vision of America as the continent of lost
innocence and lost illusions. He compares Gatsby’s experience to that of the
Dutch Sailors who first came to Long Island and had an unspoiled continent
before them. As Nick lies on the beach in front of Gatsby’s home, his last night
in the East, he contemplates this thought, “I became aware of the old
island that flowered once for Dutch sailor’s eyes – a fresh green breast of the
new world. It’s vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house,
had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for
a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of
this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood
nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something
commensurate to his capacity for wonder. I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he
first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long
way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly
fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him”
(Fitzgerald 182). Gatsby’s greatness was to have retained a sense of wonder as
deep as the sailor’s on that first landfall. Gatsby’s tragedy was to have had,
not a continent to wonder at, but only a green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock
and the triviality of Daisy herself. The evolution of such triviality was
Gatsby’s particular tragedy and the tragedy of America. Gatsby fades into the
past forever to take his place with the Dutch sailors who had chosen their
moment in time so much more happily than he. By the close of the novel,
Fitzgerald has completely convinced the reader that Gatsby’s capacity for
illusion is touching and heroic, despite the worthlessness of the objects of his
dreams. It is through combining faultless artistry with symbolism that
Fitzgerald paints a vivid picture of the dream destined to fail because it’s
basis was illusion. not reality The Great Gatsby Cary L. Pannell Eng. 206 Rough
draft of Final Word Count 1328 Thesis: The Great Gatsby is a tightly structured,
symbolically compressed novel in which predominant images and symbols reinforce
the idea that Gatsby’s dream exists on borrowed time. I. American Rich symbolize
the failure of a civilization. A. Fitzgerald’s feelings toward wealthy B. Nick’s
disappointment with Buchanans C. Rich fail as aristocracy D. Gatsby betrayed by
class he idealized II. Green light symbolizes hope. A. Gatsby’s being
significant to symbolism of green light. B. Green light ceases to be an
enchanted object. III. Most obvious symbol is Valley of Ashes. A. Hope gives way
to dust of disappointment. B. Death and destruction of dreams lie among ashes.

C. T.J. Eckelberg’s eyes are God-like symbol. IV. America the continent of lost
innocence and illusions. A. Gatsby’s experience compared to Dutch sailors. B.

Gatsby’s tragedy was triviality of Daisy. Conclusion: Symbolism and artistry
paint a vivid picture of a dream destined to fail. Works Cited Bewley, Marius.

“Scott Fitzgerald and the Collapse of the American Dream.” Modern
Critical Views F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1985. p.

41. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

1925 Lehan, Richard D. “The Great Gatsby.” F. Scott Fitzgerald and the
Craft of Fiction. Chicago: Southern Illinois University Press. 1966. p. 121.

Way, Brian. “The Great Gatsby.” Modern Critical Interpretations F.

Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 1986.

p. 93. The Great Gatsby — Pursuit of the American Dream 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. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born
in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896. He was a student of St. Paul Academy, the Newman
School, and attended Princeton for a short while. In 1917 he joined the army and
was posted in Montgomery, Alabama. This is where he would meet his future wife
Zelda Sayre. Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published and
became a bestseller, which gave him enough money to get married. He was
published at the age of only twenty-three and was regarded as the “Speaker
for the Jazz Age.” Fitzgerald seemed to write his books, not for the
enjoyment of writing alone, but for the wealth that cam with it. However, even
though things seemed more than satisfactory at the time, things would seem to
take a turn for the worse. Zelda’s schizophrenia and Fitzgerald’s drinking
problem led Fitzgerald to rely mostly on his short stories for income. Slowly
they started to lose their appeal as well. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald ended up
dying in Hollywood on December 21, 1940. But even after his death, his books
would remain everlasting classics in the eyes of the reading world. Many novels
are centered around the attempt to capture the American Dream. 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, it
seems that 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, and throws extravagant parties, hoping by chance that 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 (page 83).” 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.” (p. 151) He also watches and protects Daisy as she returns
home. “How long are you going to wait?” “All night if
necessary.” (p. 152) 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 foolishness of his dream, but Jay
innocently replies to Nick’s claim 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 American Dream is not material
possessions, although it may seem that way. He only comes into riches so that he
can fulfill his true American 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
Dream. This book seemed to ignite many, many thoughts in my mind that pertained
to the many points presented in this story. The basis of my report, which is the
pursuit of happiness, and mainly the American Dream, has always been present in
the lives of all things living. The feeling of want for something better than
what we already have is the foundation of improvement in our world today. Anyone
who has ever thought that they deserved a promotion or anyone who has ever
bought a lottery ticket, has inevitably, at one point in their lives, thought
about something better for themselves. If they hadn’t, then they would not have
tried to obtain the new corner office space or win that million-dollar prize. In
essence, this novel depicts one man’s journey through life, and once it is over
with, his want for his youth to return to him. I enjoyed this book immensely,
because Fitzgerald drew me into the story with every descriptive word, and made
it so that I was, in some way, able to relate and connect with each character.

Fitzgerald has truly displayed the fact that, even though you may want it so
badly, dreams are made and broken every day.


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