Meaning in the Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald expresses his belief that reaching out to other people using fantasies is a wretched and consuming way of life once he examines the tragedies of the characters in The Great Gatsby. Various characters in the novel attempt to actualize the illusive nature of their dreams by establishing universal meaning for the symbols they create, but no one else shares their distorted perceptions. The effect of these delusions leads Fitzgerald to suggest offhandedly that people should keep their dreams to themselves. Nevertheless, numerous characters in The Great Gatsby still feel compelled to remain loyal to their misconceptions. They are seemingly incapable of acknowledging the falsehood of their dreams.
Gatsby’s idealization of Daisy is one such self-deception.   Although Gatsby has loved Daisy since he met her, he ascribes fictitious characteristics to her as the years pass. He forgets any bad things about her, and she soon becomes the sole focus of Gatsby’s life. Gatsby enlarges the idea of a “perfect” Daisy so much that “there must have been moments… when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion” (Fitzgerald 95).   Gatsby is expanding his idea of what Daisy should be to a point where she can no longer live up to his expectations. In short, Gatsby’s depiction of Daisy has entered the realm of exaggeration and falsehood. He enshrines the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock as an indication that he and the Daisy he has imagined will be together one day.   Gatsby tries to share this symbol with Daisy, but she does not accept its meaning because she does not share his dream.   Daisy’s indifferent reaction to Gatsby’s symbol shocks him, and “his count of enchanted objects… [diminishes] by one” (93). The green light loses a bit of its charm once Daisy refuses to acknowledge the significance it holds for Gatsby
Gatsby’s father, Mr. Gatz, experiences a similar feeling when he visits...