Personification in Depicting the Illusion of Happiness in “The Great Gatsby”

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Updated: Aug 31, 2023
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The Great Gatsby is a tragic story about love and how money affects the lives of the characters in the novel. “The Great Gatsby” uses imagery and metaphors to show that wealth can buy one enjoyment but not true happiness.

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Fitzgerald emphasizes what exactly the American Dream is through the use of symbolism and the egotistic nature of the characters.

Wealth and the Illusion of Happiness

The idea of the American Dream isn’t necessarily material items. Wealth can buy one enjoyment but not true happiness. In actuality, working hard and accomplishing goals in life to become successful in society is really what the American Dream is. The author also uses good diction and language to show the character development of Gatsby and Daisy by showing the complicated romance between them. Although money may provide short-term satisfaction, whether it be through material items or in vain, there is no amount of money that can provide long-term happiness.
In the novel, Gatsby’s ultimate goal wasn’t necessarily to become wealthy because of greed but more for the sake of winning Daisy back.

Gatsby grew up poor. However, he was very determined to become successful. Money being able to buy happiness doesn’t apply to Gatsby. Daisy is the only thing that will bring happiness to Gatsby, nothing else. Gatsby loves Daisy, but he cannot be with her because she is with Tom, and it is difficult for him to express his love to her at first. Gatsby is a very secretive and closed-off man, so he shows his love for her in the only way he knows how, which is by buying her love with excessive parties, flowers, and clothes.

Money here is more than just status; it’s a shield against responsibility, which allows Tom and Daisy to behave recklessly while other characters suffer and die in pursuit of their dreams. In the end, Tom and Daisy simply go back to their boring and careless lives, but all the money Gatsby tries so hard to make doesn’t end up doing much for him because Daisy still has love for her husband. Money does have value, but it may not necessarily make people happy in the book. Gatsby spends a huge amount of money to host parties that he doesn’t really enjoy. He has a desire to grab Daisy’s attention and make her fall in love again because of Gatsby’s new life with more money. Gatsby could not use money to buy Daisy’s love.


Also, Gatsby knows of many important people that surround his life, who come to his party before and after he dies, and only a few people come to his funeral. Wealth and power are gone away with Gatsby. He gave Daisy so much money and “love,” and they didn’t end up happy.


  1. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

  2. “So We Read On: How “The Great Gatsby” Came to Be and Why It Endures” by Maureen Corrigan 

  3. “Gatsby’s Oxford: Scott, Zelda, and the Jazz Age Invasion of Britain: 1904-1929” by Christopher A. Snyder

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Personification in Depicting the Illusion of Happiness in "The Great Gatsby". (2023, Aug 31). Retrieved from