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Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Seminar
Transcript of Jay Gatsby and the American Dream Seminar
“a life of personal happiness and material comfort
as traditionally sought by individuals
in the United States of America.”
(Dictionary.com) While Gatsby may not be perfect or lead a perfect life,
his determination to achieve the American Dream renders him worthy of the title The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s life is a tragic example of both of the sides of the American Dream – the joys of young love, friendship, wealth and success, and the tragedies associated with excess and failure. Thesis: Gatsby's Successes and Riches Seminar Gatsby is born great;
his motivation to succeed is evident even as a child. For example, when Gatsby dies, his father Mr. Henry C. Gatz shares his son's childhood schedule with Nick. "Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind?"
(Page 173) The list includes normal boyhood activities such as working, baseball, and sports, but Gatsby also includes dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling, studying electricity, practicing elocution, poise and how to attain it, and studying needed inventions.
It is exactly this ambition that drives Gatsby to greatness throughout his life. He later creates his own identity; no longer has the James Gatz of the suffocating small-town life, the Great Gatsby becomes a military officer and an Oxford student. Successes Riches Gatsby had a lot of money, but he could never obtain the social class that comes with being born into a higher class family. Proof of Gatsby's lower social standing (lower than Daisy's social class) is found throughout the novel. Especially when Tom says:
"I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife"
(Page 130) Tom knows Daisy would not leave him for someone of Gatsby's background. Daisy Jay Gatsby spends his life aiming to win the love of Daisy Buchanan, the "Golden Girl."
Gatsby throws extravagant parties hoping to attract her attention, and even creates an entirely new identity for himself. Although Daisy is married to Tom Buchanan, an upper-class Yale graduate, Gatsby continues to dwell on his past relationship with Daisy, convinced she will love him once again because as he most certainly believes that you can repeat the past. This is stated in the conversation Gatsby has with Nick after Daisy and Tom attend one of his parties. “Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!”
(Page 110) Daisy represents Gatsby's desired success in achieving the American Dream; if he can win the love of this seemingly perfect woman, then surely he will be successful. Daisy, a married woman, chooses her husband Tom over Gatsby, opting for security over passion.
The Great Gatsby is defeated in the game of love, yet his greatness lies in that he pursues his dreams despite the risk of failure. Friendship with Nick Close to the end of the book we come to realize that Gatsby did not really have too many friends. He was rich, well known and liked by everyone but still had no companionship, besides Nick. When Gatsby was killed, his chauffeur had said he heard the shots but thought nothing of it. There was also the butler and gardener in the house but none of them really paid attention to the gunshots.
This shows that many of the people in Gatsby's house were really only there for the work and could care less about the health of Gatsby. Nick was once a stranger and another person at Gatsby's parties but that soon changed. Nick really got to see the true Gatsby and gave Gatsby a sense of friendship. When Gatsby's father asks Nick if he was a friend of his son's, Nick responds:
"We were close friends."
(Page 168) Gatsby Dies Alone... At the end of the novel the reader gets a sense of Gatsby’s failed American dream when only a couple of people attend his funeral. Loneliness is evident in The Great Gatsby because although the characters are always in the company of others, they still manage to feel alone. Gatsby, despite throwing extravagant parties with hundreds of people, dies alone.
Although one may say that he had already died inside even before the shooting at the pool. The funeral scene was miserable, nobody else showed up showing that no one really cared about Gatsby despite his big, lavish parties and popular name.
Except for Nick, he was really the only one true friend Gatsby ever had…