The Down To Earth, Mentally Stable Gatsby Essay

1304 words - 6 pages

Like a clock or a Rube Goldberg device, the plot of The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a specimen of fine machinery. If at any moment a piece fails, the structure of the entire story will cease to function as intended. If Gatsby had not stumbled upon the excursions of Dan Cody, if Gatsby had sent his letter to Daisy a few months sooner, if Gatsby had passed the house of Myrtle Wilson a moment earlier: all of these scenarios constitute a much different telling of the life of James Gatz. Every event falls perfectly into place to give the reader a coincidental but telling story of wealth and its corruptions. Nonetheless, as a broken clock can still be used as decoration, these alternate realities can still hold a powerful message as well. For example, had he not enlisted in the military, Gatsby’s life would be a drastically different tale involving rejection, defeat and acceptance.
Some of the most defining moments of Gatsby’s story are his first encounters with Daisy, but would this meeting have occurred if Gatsby was not a military man? The answer is almost assuredly no. Gatsby met Daisy while stationed at Camp Taylor, a place he never would have been had he not been enlisted. Also, Gatsby only found out of Daisy’s existence because he went to her house with a group of other officers. Gatsby’s chances of meeting Daisy drop considerably if he does not join the military. Even if Gatsby happened upon Daisy on the accord of fate itself, he would no longer possess the military garb in which to shroud his secrets. This young, dirty vagrant would find little in the lane of compassion from the snobbery of Daisy and her exclusive lifestyle. It is clear to see that if Gatsby had chosen to stay out of the military, he would have also been involuntarily choosing to stay out of Daisy’s life. This goes to show the reader just how lucky (or unlucky) Gatsby was to meet Daisy in the first place and how thick the barriers are between the upper and lower class. It seems that without a disguise and an alibi, a person like the young Gatsby would have no in to the lives of the people that he so wished to be.
This rejection from Daisy, or from the upper class in general, may even humble the young Gatsby in some ways. No one truly knows the mind of Gatsby, and therefore it is definitely possible that his big dreams would stay strong even after being sentenced to mundane jobs and minimal living. His mind will always romp like the mind of God, but only his mind in this scenario will be so free. Gatsby’s imagination is basically worthless, though, without a chance to achieve. If you owned a business in one of the most booming economies of United States history, would you hire the clean-cut gentleman in a nice suit or the homeless young man whose suit smells inherently like a dank cave inhabited by smokers? Disregarding that his dress shirt is stained to a concernedly browned-white and that you are fairly certain you threw those shoes out a week ago, his...

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