Lindsay Young 02-18-10 The Great Gatsby : Gatsby’s Dream-like Fantasy In F.

Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, young bachelor Nick Carraway documents the lives of the wealthy. Throughout the novel, the vitality and eccentricity of the Roaring Twenties is embodied by the dream-like fantasy of flashy Jay Gatsby. Truly the Prince Charming of the novel, Gatsby constantly chases after his damsel in distress, Daisy Buchanan. Tragically blinded by love, he does not see the vampiric demeanor lying underneath Daisy’s beauty. Strangely enough, Gatsby and Daisy are opposites in every way possible, yet Gatsby is irresistibly drawn to Daisy. Gatsby’s charm, his reassuring smile, seems to give him a more human feeling, while Daisy’s charm, her siren song, is empty of thought and emotion. When Nick accidentally makes a snarky comment about Gatsby without realizing Gatsby is standing right before him, a warm smile eases the embarrassment. Gatsby’s character-defining smile not only gives Nick a sense of security, but the smile is “concentrated on [him] with an irresistible prejudice,” giving its recipient its full attention. While the smile is all about Nick, Daisy’s voice merely lures him into a narcissistic monologue where his presence matters only to provide audience to the siren’s call. Gatsby tells Nick he understands Nick with his smile, but Daisy could care less whether Nick even has feelings. Typical of East Egg, Daisy cares only for herself, incapable of love, and rumors spread that “Daisy’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her.” This same voices draws in Gatsby and fools him into thinking great things will happen one day.

Perhaps the only instance in which Gatsby and Daisy share the same type of raw emotion is when their relationship is revealed to Tom. In the hotel room fight, Gatsby tries to ascertain Daisy’s feelings for him, still fooled by his delusions of grandeur. Confronted by Tom, Gatsby is forced to show an uglier side than his usual genial and jovial self. His smile is gone and Nick is shocked to see the expression on his face, reminiscent of the first party: “as is he had killed a man.” Gatsby reverts to James Gatz, the unsophisticated “Mr. Nobody from Nowhere.” Daisy, flustered and caught unawares, loses her aloof, carefree and capricious nature. Her voice is no longer the seductive whisper that everyone is drawn to. Much like a singer losing her voice, Daisy is no longer the siren, but a mere Medusa-esque being sitting on a rock in the ocean. As the dream comes to an end, Gatsby is forced to face reality and concede that nothing will ever happen between him and Daisy. Forever the knight in shining armor, Gatsby still tries to “save” Daisy and is even willing to take the fall when she kills Myrtle Wilson. Daisy, selfish and reckless, so blinded by the attention Gatsby gives her, that she does not realize the weight of her actions. Compared to Gatsby’s “menagerie” of a mansion, filled to the brim with bright colors, the extravagantly regal features of Daisy Buchanan’s mansion simply scream Rococo. Gatsby attempts to mimic East Egg, yearning to belong, but always comes out tragically wrong; eye-catching, yet gaudy, Gatsby captures the essence of the Jazz Age, but fails to impress the wistful East Egg community. Gatsby’s passion for authenticity causes him to fill his library with real books, even though he will never read them. Gatsby cares not for the cost, but for the reaction, and strives to impress all who pass through his gates. He wants his guests to feel safe in their surroundings; not only should

they be comfortable, but they should feel the familiarity at the same time. On the other hand, Daisy’s cream-colored “frosted wedding cake ceiling…[and] wine-colored rug” against the fresh green grass mesh together giving the mansion a whimsical aura, but at the same time reflect the spirit of aristocratic life. To Daisy, it only matters that everyone approves of her and those associated with her. She is “sophisticated” and cares only for accessories that will make her more noticeable. Her ultimate accessory, her daughter, appears only once in the book and when she is mentioned in conversation, the subject returns to Daisy. Daisy cares not for what her guests think of Pammy, but what Pammy thinks of her guests. Daisy hopes for her miniature clone to be just like her, “a beautiful little fool.” Daisy seeks approval from all she encounters, while Gatsby strives for the comfort of his guests. Gatsby’s illusion consumes him to the end, even when he must admit defeat and relinquish Daisy into Tom’s care. Though Gatsby’s love for Daisy is unrequited, he never stops being concerned for her. He is willing to be thrown over in order to protect her days of carelessness and whimsy. Daisy is incapable of loving anyone but herself; nevertheless, Daisy cares for Gatsby in a way that she cares for no one else. Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are a fairy-tale couple gone horribly wrong; a one-sided relationship out of control, where the “princess” is really a self-centered vampire-witch, and Prince Charming is tragically mistaken in pursuing her happiness.

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