The Traits Of Jay Gatsby Essay

1470 words - 6 pages

When looking at Jay Gatsby, one sees many different personalities and ideals. There is the gracious host, the ruthless bootlegger, the hopeless romantic, and beneath it all, there is James Gatz of North Dakota. The many faces of Gatsby make a reader question whether they truly know Gatsby as a person. Many people question what exactly made Jay Gatsby so “great.” These different personas, when viewed separately, are quite unremarkable in their own ways. When you take them together, however, you discover the complicated and unique individual that is Jay Gatsby.

One of the traits of Gatsby that makes him truly great is his remarkable capacity for hope. He has faith that what he desires will come to him if he works hard enough. He does not comprehend the cruelty and danger that is the rest of the world. Gatsby, while a man of questionable morals, is as wide-eyed and innocent as a small child in his views of the world. These ideals are evident in Nick’s narration and in the words spoken by the other characters, including Gatsby himself.

For five years, Gatsby was denied the one thing that he desired more than anything in the world: Daisy. While she was willing to wait for him until after the war, he did not want to return to her a poor man who would, in his eyes, be unworthy of her love. Gatsby did not want to force Daisy to choose between the comfortable lifestyle she was used to and his love. Before he would return to her, he was determined to make something of himself so that Daisy would not lose the affluence that she was accustomed to possessing. His desire for Daisy made Gatsby willing to do whatever was necessary to earn the money that would in turn lead to Daisy’s love, even if it meant participating in actions that were not completely legal.

When first becoming acquainted with Nick, Gatsby brought him to the city to have lunch with a man whom he called his friend, Meyer Wolfsheim. Wolfsheim told Nick that “‘We [Gatsby and Wolfsheim] were so thick like that in everything’—he held up two bulbous fingers—‘always together’” (Fitzgerald 171). Gatsby had informed Nick at one point that Wolfsheim was a gambler and had been responsible for the fixing of the 1919 World Series (Fitzgerald 73). Wolfsheim was also known for spending time with notorious gangsters and bootleggers. Gatsby had first become acquainted with Wolfsheim right after the war, several years before. During a brief lunch meeting, he attempted to make a “business proposal” to Nick, whom he had just met minutes before (70). If Wolfsheim was willing to involve a stranger in his illicit activities after meeting him for the first time, the odds that he had recruited a young, impressionable soldier, who had remained friends with him for years, were extremely high, especially when considering his observation that Gatsby was a man of fine breeding (72).

Tom Buchanen confirms the reader’s suspicions of Gatsby’s illegal activities when he searches for the reason that...

Find Another Essay On The Traits of Jay Gatsby

The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

1374 words - 5 pages The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby       Pathetic is a term used to describe someone who is pitifully unsuccessful.  Success is not necessarily measured in wealth or fame, but it is measured by how much one has accomplished in life.  A successful person is one who has set many goals for himself and then goes out in life and accomplishes some of them, but goes on living even if failing on others.  In the

Jay Gatsby as Tragic Hero of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

971 words - 4 pages Jay Gatsby as Tragic Hero of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby According to Aristotle, there are a number of characteristics that identify a tragic hero: he must cause his own downfall; his fate is not deserved, and his punishment exceeds the crime; he also must be of noble stature and have greatness. These are all characteristics of Jay Gatsby, the main character of Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby.  Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero according

Jay Gatsby the Tragic Hero

681 words - 3 pages love who also had a hand in the hero's downfall. In my opinion however, the arch-nemesis of Jay Gatsby is none other than Jay Gatsby. I believe Gatsby's own actions and flaws in character have brought about his demise. Gatsby was the one who built his entire life gravitating around a single ideal of a girl he once loved. Gatsby was the one who took the initiative to meet Daisy. Gatsby was the one who, having already gained the affections of

The Great Gatsby- Jay Gatsby V

615 words - 2 pages Jay Gatsby, the title character of The Great Gatsby, is really not all that the title might suggest. First of all, his real name is James Gatz. He changed it in an effort to leave behind his old life as a poor boy and create an entirely new identity. He is also a liar and a criminal, having accumulated his wealth and position by dishonest means. But he is still called ‘great,’ and in a sense he is. Gatsby is made great by his unfaltering hope

Comparison of the Presentation of the Characters Jay Gatsby and Dick Diver from The Great Gatsby

5303 words - 21 pages Comparison of the Presentation of the Characters Jay Gatsby and Dick Diver from The Great Gatsby      F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as a writer who chronicled his times. This work has been critically acclaimed for portraying the sentiments of the American people during the 1920s and 1930s. ‘The Great Gatsby’ was written in 1924, whilst the Fitzgeralds were staying on the French Riviera, and ‘Tender is the Night’ was written nearly ten years

Comparision of Duddy Kravitz and Jay Gatsby

2020 words - 8 pages Comparision of Duddy Kravitz and Jay Gatsby Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz certainly provides a stark contrast to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. While Fitzgerald epitomizes descriptive writing techniques, Richler is far more reserved and subtle in terms of description when juxtaposed. However, both writers are able to successfully reveal the precarious journey of, essentially, the same character

Jay Gatsby and the American Dream

1460 words - 6 pages greater life after moving to America. Some like to think that Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby exemplifies a man who achieves the American Dream. While Jay Gatsby seems to be a great representative of the successful American Dream, his life truly shows the failure of the American Dream. The American Dream is an exceptionally broad term. It includes ambitions of wealth, family, comfort, and anything a citizen or future citizen could ever want. Originally

Jay Gatsby: The Dissolution of a Dream. Talks about one of the characters in Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"

861 words - 3 pages A dream is defined in the Webster's New World Dictionary as: afanciful vision of the conscious mind; a fond hope or aspiration; anythingso lovely, transitory, etc. as to seem dreamlike. In the beginning pagesof F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, thenarrator of the story gives us a glimpse into Gatsby's idealistic dreamwhich is later disintegrated. 'No- Gatsby turned out all right at the end;it is what preyed on Gatsby

Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, and the Pursuit of the American Dream

824 words - 3 pages Willy Loman, Jay Gatsby, and the Pursuit of the American Dream Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, and Arthur Miller, author of Death of a Salesman, both tell the stories of men in the costly pursuit of the American dream. As a result of several conflicts, both external and internal, both characters experience an extinction of the one thing that they have set their sights on.... The American

The Traits of Odysseus

1103 words - 4 pages In Homer’s The Odyssey, there are a lot of traits displayed that are considered important in ancient Greek culture. These are shown by many different characters, but mostly by Odysseus (he is, after all, the main character in the epic poem). Odysseus is the epitome of a Greek ruler: he has a lot of admirable traits. His only fault is his hubris, but that is overcome and taken care of. Throughout Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus displays wisdom

Jay Gatsby; The White Knight Fighting for the Fair Maiden

1023 words - 5 pages Jay Gatsby; The White Knight Fighting for the Fair Maiden Courtly love is a fundamental metaphor of Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, and, therefore, the elusive Jay Gatsby plays out his role as a courtly lover throughout the novel. Gatsby’s abnormal situation with Daisy reflects the metaphor of courtly love. Many of the characteristics used to define courtly love are reflected in Gatsby’s actions. Every choice that he makes is an attempt to win

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Jay Gatsby

602 words - 2 pages Analysis of Jay Gatsby The "Roaring Twenties" is a time when the United States was at pivotal era in its emergence into the new world. After the First World War, after prohibition America came alive with decadence. The men and women of this age were flamboyant and more alive than the generations before them. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby, he tries to reveal some of the magic of that time through the lives of his characters in the

Jay Gatsby: The Mystery Essay

977 words - 4 pages of individuals as Nick does. This also unveils Gatsby to be innocent, and honest with most people, traits that come into conflict with his foil the aristocratic bully Tom Buchanan (Daisy’s husband). Even early on, the myth of Jay Gatsby starts to crumble away as its revealed he came to his wealth through criminal endeavors, confirmed by his meeting with Meyer Wolfshiem. Gatsby’s behavior changes once he becomes reacquainted with Daisy Buchanan

Jay Gatsby The Magician Essay

748 words - 3 pages Jay Gatsby gives off the aura of magic throughout the novel from the first moment we meet him until his untimely demise at the hands of George Wilson. His life is just a web of clever lies and half-truths told to persuadable brains that keep the stories, rumors and lies alive with gossip. He hides himself behind lavish parties and changes in his identity in an attempt to fit into a world where he truly does not belong. Gatsby follows a

The Character Of Jay Gatsby From The Great Gatsby

760 words - 3 pages which allowed others to keep up their destructive lifestyle’s with a lack of consequence. Lastly, The Jay Gatsby that everyone caught glimpses will always be a mystery to many. His life was an example of the highs and lows of the American dream. The pitfalls and plateaus that he reached show deep insight into The United States in the 1920’s. All of his character traits represented different things to different people only to end in his own pointless demise. In the end it was, and will always be tragic for a life that it not yet lived to the fullest to be extinguished.