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The Great Gatsby Essay

1417 words - 6 pages

The author F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his book The Great Gatsby brings up the concept of how a person cannot succeed in life through deception. The character that represents this idea in the novel is Jay Gatsby, who lives his life through lies to society and himself, which in the end achieves nothing.In the novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is an example of a man who is concealing his past through the impression of high class and wealth. Society sees him as a person of old money, or wealth through inheritance, when in reality he originated from the poorer side of the general public. He conceals this through many of his possessions, his manner and the way he conducts himself to others. An example of this is a quotation stated by Nick Caraway when he is describing Gatsby's car, "It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town."(Page 64) The symbol of color is used throughout the novel relating to different aspects of the story. The white color which describes the car, represents wealth and cleanliness, the image that Gatsby is trying to portray. In addition, the way that Nick talks about the 'many layers of glass' symbolizes Gatsby's character. It seems as though he is upper class and clean, when in reality, he gets his money through committing crimes. The parties that Gatsby throws also show the way he is trying to present himself to the public eye as a person of old money, meaning a person whose family has been weathly through generations. As Nick tells his interpretation of the party, it relates to this goal that Gatsby has set for himself: "Instead of rambling, this party had preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself the function of representing the staid nobility of the countryside-East Egg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against its spectroscopic gayety." (Page 44) Gatsby is trying to imitate a party that people of old money would have. This shows how he is trying to deceive the rest of society. When Nick says that the party is 'on guard against its spectroscopic gayety', he is speaking of how Gatsby is trying to avoid the appearance that his parties are out of control and made up of people mostly from the lower class and new money, instead of being refined and exclusive to people of old money. Representing Gatsby's attempt at deception, this next quotation is one where Nick encounters a man in the library during one of Gatsby's gatherings, speaking about one of the books in the library. "'Absolutely real-have pages and everything. I thought they'd be a nice durable cardboard. Matter of fact, they're absolutely real. Pages and-Here! Lemme show you.'…'It's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This fella's a regular...

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