Gatsby is a man who believes in ideals.

The hope for a better life and a more fulfilling existence is something all humans share. In the last two hundred years, many have seen North America as the beacon in the night, the utopian society where anyone with talent can become successful, regardless of class or place of birth. The nineteen twenties were a decade in which this became evident to be only a facade, and though they could try, most could never get to the top. Materialism, greed, money and prejudice had tarnished this noble dream, and though many would aspire to it, they were always on the outside when it came to high society. F. Scott Fitzgerald was such a man, one who strived but just could not be accepted by those in the world of his wife, and poured his frustrations into his greatest novel, The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is a man who believes in ideals. He rises from nothing and attains great wealth to impress Daisy Fay, the love he sees as angelic and pure, but whose greed and selfishness makes her choose her cruel and unfaithful husband’s material worth and stature over Gatsby’s undying love and adoration, ruining his hopes for an ideal life. Daisy grew up in the world of ‘old money’ where having and being able to spend money is all important. Money and wealth encompasses Daisy’s entire being “ ‘Her voice is full of money.’ he said suddenly. It was full of money - that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle in it, the cymbals’ song of it. . . High in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. . .” (Fitzgerald, 115). A statement like this, especially coming from Gatsby says much about how he can see through the facade and truly love her. He knows she loves him, she just cannot deal with the fact that no matter how hard he tries, his voice will never be full of money. The scene that most exemplifies this is the scene where she, Gatsby and Nick Caraway are at Gatsby’s house and he shows her his wardrobe He took a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel..... Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. ‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such - such beautiful shirts before.’ (89) Daisy realizes here that Gatsby has attained her level of wealth just to impress her, and realizes that no matter how much he has, her childhood teachings tell her she cannot love him. Daisy has a deep character despite her shallow guise. She realizes her meaningless existence when her daughter is born, “ ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool - that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (22). Daisy was taught to be a submissive little fool from the time she was a little girl, and pulls off the rouse well, except when she is drunk, which is the precise reason that she does not drink. Before she marries Tom Buchanan, Jordan Baker finds her in her bridal suite with a bottle of Sauterne in her hand and very drunk, She groped around in a wastebasket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. ‘Take ‘em downstairs and give ‘em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ‘em Daisy’s change’ her mine’ (74). Her husband knows nothing but the world of money and material things. He buys Daisy expensive pearls as a wedding gift and makes sure everybody knows they’re expensive to show her how much he loves her. Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson is so poor that she can be wooed only with the promise of pretty things and even though Tom abuses and beats her she keeps coming back, “Making a short deft movement, Tom Buchanan broke her nose with an open hand. There were bloody towels upon the bathroom floor, and women’s voices scolding, and high over the confusion a long broken wail of pain.” (39). At the end of the book, after Gatsby is dead and Tom and Daisy’s marriage is on the verge of falling apart, Nick sees Tom in town heading towards a jewellery store looking for something expensive to buy Daisy so she’ll forgive him, showing still that no matter what Tom has still not learned that material things don’t last, and that they don’t show love. By this point both of them had destroyed all those around them, and had only each other left, “Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or whatever ir was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” (170). The literary technique at the end of The Great Gatsby is interesting in that it ties the whole book together thematically, I became aware of the island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes - a fresh green breast of the new world. It’s now 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 . . . 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 that he could hardly fail to grasp it. (171). It brings the reader to the realization that this book is not merely a simple story of “ideal” and unattainable love, but a bold statement on the state of American society. Daisy and Tom cannot see outside their narrow privileged world, a world Gatsby tries desperately to become a part of but ultimately cannot be accepted into. Gatsby’s entire existence is geared to attaining his ideal, Daisy. He sees an ideal love in her, and is on a quest to erase the time that had gone by “ ‘I’m sorry about the clock.’” (84). Unfortunately, as Tom uncovers, Gatsby is not anything he claims to be, he is a bootlegger and drug dealer and did not make his money legitimately and is even more ostracized because of it. Gatsby lived in a massive house with an army of servants all alone. Every weekend he would gave a big, elaborate party with hundreds of people in attendance that he himself didn’t even bother attending. He tries and tries to woo Daisy once more, and as soon as he thinks he’s got her she crushes him and says that she loves Tom. No matter what he does for other people, they always double-cross him in the end to serve their own purpose. Tom begins by telling Wilson that it was Gatsby who was having an affair with and killed Myrtle, thus becoming the catalyst in Gatsby’s death. Gatsby’s body wasn’t discovered for a number of hours after his murder simply because nobody cared to contact him and the servants didn’t think to go investigate the gunshots they heard. Nick Caraway was the one to find him and the one to plan his funeral. He and Mr Gatz, Gatsby’s father were the only people in attendance. Gatsby’s business partner, Mr Wolfsheim no longer wanted to be associated with him because Gatsby’s business had been uncovered and he didn’t want himself involved. All the people that had attended his parties didn’t feel the need to come because they just couldn’t be bothered. . . his countless house guests, “friends” and business associates, none of them came. The only person that came was “Owl Eyes” who stayed only for a second, said “the poor son of a bitch” and left. Gatsby was too idealistic and naive, making him prey to those who would seek him out and use him to their own advantage. Even though he seems like he’s living in a dream world, after he the very first time he meets Daisy he knows that he cannot have her, and “tries hard to die” in the war because he has nothing to live for; he is penniless and heartbroken. He takes this to the extreme when he moves his battalion into the heart of battle and manages to get a medal for honour and valour rather than get himself killed. The American Dream fails him, as he cannot get as far as he wants. . . he cannot puncture Daisy’s world, no matter how talented or rich he is, and the fact that Wilson kills him just saves him the trouble of becoming a recluse and living out a miserable life. Jay Gatsby is a man who rose from nothing and embodies the hopes and dreams of a nation. He reaches the top, but is stopped short because he does not come from money, but instead is a self made man. This though, should be prized above all instead of looked down upon. Daisy is his reason for living, the sun rises and sets on her love, on her existence. Without her, Gatsby has nothing but an empty void, he’d have no goals or aspirations. He is the only person who can see into her heart and see that it is beautiful, but is tarnished by an upbringing that makes her almost like a fallen angel that was never taught to think for itself. She could get past it, but chooses not to when she chooses Tom over Gatsby because Tom has money and stature and Gatsby only has love to offer. Her sense of values is distorted and she does not know what she wants, so she goes to what she knows - a life of money and privilege. Today, society moralizes that privilege and money bring the ultimate happiness and without them life is meaningless, pointless and miserable. Children are taught at a young age to strive for riches, even though most who have reached that goal will testify that it is not riches that has made them happy . . . moreover it was love.