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 novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a pathetic character because
he wasted his whole life chasing an unrealistic dream.
Gatsby's dream is unrealistic because "it depends for its success
upon Daisy's discontent with her marriage and her willingness to exchange
it for a life of love. But Daisy's discontent, like her sophistication, is
a pose."(Aldridge 36) The fact is, Daisy has almost all of the things that
a woman could want out of a marriage. She is very wealthy, she has a
beautiful daughter, and her relationship with her husband is of a
comfortable nature. It is true that her life is not very exciting, but it
is unreasonable to think that she would trade all that she had in her
marriage to Tom Buchanan for Jay Gatsby. At that time, divorce was very
uncommon, and it was very unlikely that any woman would leave her husband
for any reason at all.
Everything that Gatsby ever did in his whole life was based upon
his pursuit of the dream. He moved to New York and bought his very
expensive mansion because of Daisy. Jordan Baker said, "Gatsby bought that
house so that Daisy would be just across the bay."(Fitzgerald 83) He held
many expensive parties in the hope that Daisy might show up at one of them.
Jordan said, "I think he half expected her to wander into one of his
parties, some night, but she never did."(Fitzgerald 84) His daily life was
also controlled by the dream. Jordan said, "he says he's read a Chicago
paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy's
name."(Fitzgerald 84) Gatsby put so much effort into his dream that his
dream became his life, and losing control of your life is saddening.
Gatsby is pathetic because he behaves like a child and he cannot
handle adult situations like an adult. His childish demands show that he
is a pathetic and immature human being. Jordan says, "I immediately
suggested a luncheon in New York - and I thought he'd go mad: """I don't
want to do anything out of the way!"" he kept saying. ""I want to see her
right next door."""(Fitzgerald 84) At Gatsby's reunion with Daisy at
Nick's house, his nervousness shows his inability to handle adult
situations. "Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in
his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into
my eyes."(Fitzgerald 91) A mature adult would...