The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, deals with the difficulty of attaining the American dream. The American dream is different for every individual, but Jay Gatsby, the main character of the novel, believes the American dream is eternal happiness through love. Gatsby thinks the only way for him to reach the American dream is to harness his old dreams of the past with Daisy. Gatsby exploits wealth and power to reach this goal. The novel uses love, an unusual narrator, and death to reveal the downfall of individuals who attempt to reach the unobtainable goals of the American dream. Fitzgerald employs love to reveal the downfall of individuals who attempt to obtain the imaginary goals of the American dream. The love falls between Gatsby and Daisy. Gatsby concludes that he will reach his goals of the American dream by being happy with Daisy again. Fitzgerald writes, "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay." (79) Gatsby uses his wealth to move himself closer to the American dream. Gatsby has based his whole life on the hope of again being with Daisy. Fitzgerald further implies this idea when he writes, "I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night, but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found." (80) Gatsby continues to throw these gigantic parties because he wants Daisy back. Gatsby s goals of finding Daisy have started to control his whole life. The total power of Gatsby s obsession is understood when one of Gatsby s servants says, "Gatsby has read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy s name." (80) Gatsby throws parties, reads newspapers, and buys a home because of his potent love for Daisy. Gatsby configures all his time in pursuit of goals based around the American dream. Nick Carraway, the unusual narrator, is utilized by Fitzgerald to help Gatsby find his American dream. Nick is also used to show Gatsby the absurdity of his unobtainable dream. Nick continually tries to make Gatsby understand the foolishness of his American dream; however, Gatsby always responds to Nick s position by saying, "Old sport " (68) Gatsby has tremendous confidence that the pursuit of his American dream is upright and important. Nick joins in the battle to bring Gatsby closer to his American dream, "He wants to know if you ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over" (80). Nick arranges for Daisy to come over for tea so Gatsby can pop over and meet Daisy again. Nick goes along with the plan because he wants to help Gatsby realize how insane his illusionary goals are. Nick is certain that this endless pursuit of an unattainable dream will eventually lead to Gatsby s downfall.
The downfall of Gatsby eventually catches up with him when it leads to his death. Gatsby s death results from the long quest of his American dream, Daisy. Nick s quest leads him to say that he was responsible for killing Myrtle Wilson, "Was Daisy driving? Yes but of course I ll say I was." (144) This will inevitably lead to Gatsby s death. Wilson, Myrtle s wife, seeks revenge on Myrtle s killer by shooting Gatsby. Gatsby ends up paying the ultimate price for his dream of finally being with Daisy. Gatsby s inevitable and tragic downfall holds true, 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. (182) Gatsby dedicated his life to his dream and the second his dream was almost reality the undeniable downfall began, "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. He did not know that it was already behind him, " (182) Gatsby s dream appeared to be within his boundaries, but Gatsby ended up dying for the dream before he knew what he had.