In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the theme of destruction is evident in the life of the character of Jay Gatsby. In order to determine the extent of this destruction it is necessary to review Gatsby’s illegally acquired wealth, his artificial lifestyle and his fixation on Daisy. Throughout the entire novel all of these aspects proved to work against the ideals of the American Dream that Gatsby had hoped for. The ultimate realization became that Jay Gatsby fell prisoner to the corrupt dream, which in turn resulted in his downfall. Gatsby’s illegitimate monetary success was an essential part to his destruction.
Jay Gatsby was not born into a prominent family but he was determined to manufacture himself a rich idealistic lifestyle. After falling in love with a rich girl named Daisy, Gatsby went off to the war only to return to discover that Daisy had married another man. The reality that a rich girl could never marry a poor boy, marked the beginning of Gatsby’s pursuit of wealth. Gatsby became dishonestly wealthy through bootlegging and bought himself a lavish mansion in west egg across the bay from Daisy’s home “It was Gatsby’s mansion” (pg.11). Gatsby was substantially wealthy with new money not of ancestral wealth. This was a major factor in the acceptance of Gatsby into the rich society of which Daisy was involved. The extravagant parties that were thrown by Gatsby every Saturday night attracting the well-to-do -people were in hopes of catching the eye of Daisy. Gatsby was very wealthy with an entourage of guest attending his party’s but hardly any of them were friends only strangers taking advantage of his wealth and good nature. All though Gatsby had many parties and bought fancy cars and a huge house it was all part of an artificial lifestyle that he created.
The excessive lifestyle that Gatsby had fabricated had been pieced together like a real life mosaic. He claimed to have studied at oxford, and to have traveled all over the world none of this being true, this had been his alibi when asked personal questions “This fella is a regular belasco” (pg. 47). Gatsby was phony and he couldn’t let anyone find out and ruin his chances with Daisy. He wanted people to believe that he was somebody but he over did it and people started to question his story’s. The materialistic lifestyle that Gatsby wanted was for the main purpose of making Daisy want to be with him. This did not work for Gatsby because even though he was very rich so was Daisy and she had been for her entire life. Although his bootlegging and adopted lifestyle contributed to his downfall the main element of it was his vision of Daisy.
Gatsby’s fixation on his vision of Daisy was tremendous. It controlled what he brought and how he carried himself. Gatsby thought by becoming a stereotypical rich person that Daisy would be his. Gatsby’s one desire was to have Daisy and to be with her for the rest of his life. The Daisy that Gatsby had envisioned was perfect in every way, but the real Daisy seemed to be the different. Daisy toyed with Gatsby as a release from her boring life. “She vanished into her rich house, into her rich full life, leaving Gatsby-nothing”(pg. 156-157). This feeling that Gatsby had eventually led to his death. The consequence of the car accident that Daisy caused killing Mrytle Wilson was the murder of Gatsby.
In spite of everything that Gatsby did he was unsuccessful in attaining his dream of getting Daisy. No matter what he did he was always looked at with disdain by the rich society. He was considered a phony wannabe and was never accepted into the society that he coveted. His pursuit of Daisy eventually led to his downfall and death. Even in death the socialites who once attended his many parties ignored Gatsby. Only a few bothered to attend his funeral. Gatsby was murdered by the very lifestyle he so badly wanted.
Word Count: 670