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Gatsby Final Essay

2407 words - 10 pages

In famous novels throughout literature, characters often face conflicts between not themselves and other characters, but with time itself. In John Green's novel Looking For Alaska, the main characters confront the idea of "imagining the future as a kind of nostalgia". In this way, the main character Miles Halter, after the death of his friend Alaska, dreams of a future where he and Alaska are somehow reunited. However, the Alaska of his dreams is not as she presently exists, because she is no longer living. She is not even the Alaska that once existed, she is only Miles's own fantasy based on girl that he loves who was a part of his past. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby experiences the same ...view middle of the document...

Again, there is, an inherent contradiction here, and in turn, there is an inherent contradiction in Gatsby's own life. The aforementioned "heightened sensitivity" is what makes Gatsby, and although he will be ultimately be more concerned with the "promises of life" than how it will turn out in the end. Possibly, despite this, Gatsby did "turn out all right in the end, and that how Gatsby lives his life is more important to himself, to Nick, and even the reader than how his life ends; that "turning out alright" may not necessarily involve surviving.
Gatsby displays his radical idealism through the ridiculous lengths to which he goes to win Daisy over, in the honest belief that she will fall for him. When speaking to Daisy, he reveals that he shows off to her in order to win her over. In reference to his parties, he says that he "keeps [his house] full of interesting people...celebrated people" (98). Gatsby not only expects that this will attract Daisy to him, he so believes in it that the entire life and persona he has created revolves around the pursuit and maintenance of the lifestyle that Daisy inhabits. Lathbury observes that although "the lengths to which he goes to win [Daisy] are absurd", that "Gatsby's actions possess a nobility because they are from a pure heart"(64). The idealism that drives Gatsby's actions in the pursuit of his dream means that his intentions are good. This, by the same reasoning, also means that Gatsby cannot give up his dream, even when faced with his impossible task.
Gatsby maintains his hope even in the face of direct confrontation. Nick, out of concern for his friend's well being, ends up directly confronting Gatsby in an attempt to remind him that it is impossible for anyone, even the "Great" Gatsby, to go back in time and repeat the past. To this, Gatsby exclaims "Can't repeat the past?...why of course you can!...I'm going to fix everything just the way it was before"(110). Here, we see that Gatsby is either blind to all but his own idealistic conceptions of reality or is extremely arrogant. Bloom discusses Gatsby's reaction to Nick's pointed question, "What more colossal hubris can a 'son of God' commit than to ...fix time and reinstate thus the past in the wipe the slate clean and begin anew- that is Gatsby's illusion"(37). Bloom is asserting that Gatsby has not only the faith to maintain such an illusion, but as he states, the hubris to wholeheartedly believe in it. Gatsby is able to keep such a belief alive for a few reasons, but possibly the main one is that Daisy give Gatsby a reason to maintain his false hope for their future together.
As demonstrated by his actions, Gatsby is clearly blind to the fundamental impossibility of maintaining a relationship between himself and Gatsby, a fact that Daisy is acutely aware of . Possibly on purpose, or possibly by chance, Fitzgerald shows a clear comparison in this type of relationship that is fundamentally impossible to sustain. The...

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