In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby lived for a dream. He dedicated his life to what he thought would make him happy. Unfortunately, that dream lead him into a lifestyle of false reality, corruption, and trouble that made up the community of West Egg. Gatsby's goal of winning over Daisy blinded him from the reality of the people he was dealing with as well as who he truly was. This lack of identity and sense of reality caused Gatsby to lose himself and his dream. While many stories are about how “dreams can come true” and are uplifting, F. Scott Fitzgerald showed a darker side to how a person's dream can turn into an illusion and true success can turn into reaching for something that never will be.
The theme of Failing dreams and corrupted wealth can be connected to the story of millionaire Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals. A flap on the plane he was in broke off during a flight in 1983. He was sitting next to internet entrepreneur Bruce Kelly, who shared final moments with Ted as they believed they were going down. Kelly's briefcase opened that included his big idea of an instant messaging service called “MOL”. Ted begins to read the documents before going crazy and pulling out a gun. He then forces the security guards to restrain Kelly as the plane levels out and they land safely. Leonsis goes on to create AOL, which starts his life as a successful billionaire. Kelly, afraid of the insane Ted Leonsis, didn't speak about the incident until years later and because of the fact, lives a hard working life and never benefited from his idea. The acts of Ted Leonsis are very relatable to the early days of Jay Gatsby and his criminal lifestyle that brought his wealth. The victim Bruce Kelly and his stolen dream is similar to Gatsby at the end of the novel, with Ted Leonsis acting as the role of Tom. Leonsis has the reputation as a respected and honest man, which is a lot like Gatsby, who came across much differently than he really ended up to be.
Other connections to The Great Gatsby come in more common situations. Many things have an illusion to them that make them seem better than they really are, such as a movie that is over anticipated or a team that you have great expectations for. When there is a person you haven't seen in a long time, you only remember what they were like the last time that you've seen them. There are also many people who create an illusion of themselves by not acting true to themselves. A lot of people only care about what others think, just like Gatsby who changed himself to try to impress Daisy.
Overall the demise of Jay Gatsby can be broken down into a few common problems that took control of his mind and eventually his dream. In the end he was only a good person who was living the wrong dream. By the time things became out of control, he wasn't able to give up on Daisy because the illusion of reality and the thought of failing had already taken over.
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