Tonight, the latest interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's book was shown at the Madison Art Cinema, here in Connecticut. There were no empty seats and when the film ended no one got out of those seats. The pain Gatsby brought upon himself and his one friend Nick bore witness to and cracked up because of it seemed like something we could all identify with.
Dreams are or were encouraged in America. If we mature normally we ditch most or all of them for what we can realistically achieve. But, so many of us get stuck in them. That's where we identified with Gatsby. In that emotional hole, like Gatsby, our judgment is way off. He couldn't see Daisy for the weak, materialistic creature she was. In addition, he did not understand the rites and rituals of old money. Tragedy was inevitable.
As English majors know, Fitzgerald got caught in some of the same traps as Gatsby such as assuming that money would cure his inner pain. When that didn't work out the way he had fantasized, he drank himself to death.