Outline of Gatsby from Passage


“Gatsby’s story is full of contradictions. Enclosed within the glow of his own invented world, he is blind to both the corruption he seeks to realise in his dream and the impossibility of Daisy’s ever measuring up to this vision of her.”


Outline briefly this ‘vision’ of Gatsby’s and assess whether it is doomed or not.





From a young age, Jay Gatsby yearns to be successful. His schedule of things to do, written at a very young age, shows a boy desperate to improve himself in order to get as far in life, and as far away from his humble origins, as possible. Gatsby changes his name (from ‘Gatz’ to the more elegant ‘Gatsby’), leaves home and gets involved with the rich Dan Cody, all with the hope to increase his wealth and social standing. His ambition is obvious.


Later, in 1917, Jay Gatsby meets Daisy Faye. To him, having Daisy would be a part of attaining the success he had always dreamed of having: the money, the status, the girl. This girl, however, takes precedence in Gatsby’s life then, and for the rest of his too-short life. He falls in love and becomes obsessed with Daisy. After leaving to do service in the War, he writes to her often. He spends the next years of his life accumulating wealth by being involved in illegal dealings. He buys a house on West Egg, simply because it affords a view across the Sound of Daisy’s house. He throws huge, lavish parties in summer, to which hundreds of people come, in the hope that Daisy will too. Gatsby’s greatest hope, and greatest motivation in life is that Daisy will see his prosperity, and love him for it.


Gatsby spends many years envisaging Daisy, upon seeing him after so long apart, leaving her husband, Tom, for Gatsby. She would declare, passionately, that she had never loved Tom, but had always loved Gatsby. She would give up everything and commit herself wholly (to the extent that Gatsby does) to a life together. They would live happily ever after.


Gatsby chooses Daisy as the object of his obsessive affections for various reasons. To him, she is simply “the first ‘nice’ girl he had ever known.” The women in Gatsby’s life, up to the point he meets Daisy, have been coarse and have used him. Daisy, in her white dress, with her soft voice, is something fresh and mysterious. Gatsby finds her “excitingly desirable”. Her immense wealth contributes to her attractiveness for Gatsby: the large house, the parties, the motor-cars. All of Daisy’s life is what Gatsby wants and she is, therefore, an inextricable part of it. She fires his ambition as Gatsby wants to be of equal status and as she represents the American Dream: she has everything she needs.


These same characteristics of Daisy Faye contribute to the corruption and the burning-out of Gatsby’s bright dream. The dream is doomed. Daisy lacks nothing, materially, and is unaware of reality because of this. She is above normal human concerns and, therefore, does not fully understand normal human values, such as caring and sincerity. She is utterly spoilt and cynical. Only her own needs are important to her, and these are largely materialistic. In this way, Daisy is incredibly different to Gatsby. He is materialistic, but he thinks always of others, he is considerate and his vision of Daisy shows that he is a highly romantic person. He is an emotional person, whereas Daisy blocks out feelings so as not to feel pain. He and Daisy are not compatible, but Gatsby does not see this. Also, quite simply, Daisy has no intention of upsetting her comfortable existence with Tom for Gatsby’s sake.


Not only Daisy is corrupt and it is not her fault entirely that the relationship with Gatsby cannot work out. Gatsby, through his naivety, dooms his own American Dream. The first sign of corruption is his willingness to participate in illegal bootlegging in order to gain wealth, with which he hopes to impress Daisy. Gatsby’s greatest fault is that he simply doesn’t see Daisy for the shallow girl that she is. His “vision” is erroneous, based on nothing but etheral hopes.


This “vision” could be labelled “doomed”.