At first, it appears that Daisy is Gatsby’s dream itself. He hosts these brilliant parties of which everyone wants to go to. He befriends Nick, as he is a link to Daisy. It appears that Gatsby spent his whole life bettering himself for Daisy. But Gatsby could have his sights set on a higher dream. Daisy could simply an object to better his social status: a ticket to an elitist world.
In the “life plan” that his father showed Nick, there was a not a abjective concerning love or marriage. But after meeting Daisy he seemed to be aiming to marry a rich, white, anglo-saxon protestant, and pretty woman. Daisy fits into this category and represents the world that Gatsby aspired to be part of. She could simply be an accessory in his plan of self-advertising. Gatsby wanted to project an image of who it wants to be. His plan could represent the obsession with image, seen in the 1920s. Capitalism and Hollywood and the power of a corporate image and mass marketing can be seen in Daisy who is attractive and glamorous.
It would be nicer to think that Gatsby dies for something bigger than Daisy. He dies in order to keep the myth of his dream alive in his eyes. He takes the blame for someone else’s crime and gives up his life in realisation. His death does not appear to be about his own vanity. He dies realising that there is no integrity to this American Dream. He dies trying to save that dream, and so Daisy can be seen as a physical embodiment of this dream. It can be seen that as Gatsby take the blame for Daisy’s mistakes, he keeps the dream of his love for her alive. He might have realised that he had spent his whole life living a lie and in pursuit of bringing an unattainable dream to realisation. He dies to with-hold the dream that can be perceived as a myth by others. The fact that Gatsby dies to keep a dream in sight is what makes Gatsby “Great”.
The elusive nature of Gatsby’s dream almost comes alive when he kisses Daisy. It appears that he is afraid to kiss her. It is almost like if he does kiss her, what should he do from there? His “visions were unutterable”, his dream is magical and surreal.
Gatsby appears to be just a visitor or guest to Daisy’s world, she always seems out of his league. It appears that Gatsby thinks that she will only love him for his money, which is never a good foundation for a relationship. He has spent his whole life chasing a dream and while doing so hoping to “get the girl”. She rejects him for his background. It would be nicer to think that, Daisy would be the icing on Gatsby’s cake, rather than the person he has spent his life looking for.
His actual relationship with and pursuit of Daisy does not appear to be heroic. When he does meet Daisy he seems afraid; “Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like wieghts in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes”. His fear could be that the unattainable dream is finally within reach. It is clear that Gatsby is ambitious and driven in his determination to win back the love of his life. Gatsby’s intentions can be questioned, as it is hard to see the true man behind the parties and money.
It would be more heroic if he lived and died for a grand dream rather that a girl who would clearly reject him on a material basis. It appears that she is merely part of the quest, and almost a physical trophy that would show that he was on his way to achieving this beautiful dream.
Part of his dream is to be part of the elite white, anglo-saxon and protestant crowd. He tries so hard to fit in and can not do so because of his heritage. This is the same reason for why he cannot have Daisy; he didn’t have Toms’ old money. “Gatsby gazed at a single green light, minute and faraway that it might have been the end of a dock”; the green light could represent the American Dream. He had planned social climbing and self inprovement since he was a boy. But Daisy was a physical embodiment of Gatsby’s real emotions. He did love her but he also loved this great dream. The water is symbolic of how he can never obtain Daisy or the dream, it seperates the two islands.
Gatsby does fail in getting Daisy as she can’t choose between him and Tom. He does fail on this level but the “Greatness” of Gatsby is how lived and died for a dream that was created when he was seventeen, before he met Daisy.