Does Gatsby, in his yearning for something unattainable, reach higher than the sordid world around him? Is his “incorruptible” quest something that is really praiseworthy in a world that is morally bankrupt.
A young man in a constant state of yearning for that, that is forever unattainable, in an illusory world. Gatsby’s longing for the unattainable is a characteristic, which is often misapprehended by the other characters that surround him. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.” That distant green light over the bay, themetaphoric symbol representing Gatsby’s past, future and his struggle for what is perceived as the unattainable as possible. Constantly modifying, adapting and manipulating the world around him so he can reach a higher plane and escape the sleazy world around him. “He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance […] it faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favoUr. Unlike Gatsby, the sordid world around him, aimed to exploit and bargain their way into a life of wealth and prosperity; yet, Gatsby wanted more than this materialistic world, for him it was a means to an end. Gatsby aches for the love from his past, a time, which no amount of money can buy, a pure time, an innocent time, one that he hopes to transcend to his present, in the name of Daisy. He sees (even though misguided) this angelic, unblemished woman whom he confides unreservedly his hopes, dreams, and expectations. However, these ideals are something that Daisy is unable to live up to. Unfortunately the ‘new’ world is corrupt and Daisy has been moulded by a world that is morally bankrupt, a sordidness that in the end will extinguish that which may have been possible.
“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”