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The Great Gatsby

            The Great Gatsby 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 for the protagonist in The Great Gatsby, the dream is that through wealth and power, one can acquire happiness. To get this happiness Jay Gatsby 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 the story, is one character who longs for the past. Surprisingly he devotes most of his adult life to recapturing it and, finally, dies in its pursuit. In the past, Gatsby 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 back to Long Island where Daisy resides - "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay,"(83)- 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 is not realized, he asks around casually if anyone knows her. Soon he meets Nick Carraway, a cousin of Daisy, who agrees to set up a meeting. On page 83 Jordan Baker explains: "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, Gatsby 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." (151).
             He also watches and protects Daisy as she returns home. "How long are you going to wait?" "All night if necessary.

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