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The Pseudo Great Gatsby Essay

2109 words - 8 pages

At some point nearly all individuals aspire to become great. But what exactly constitutes greatness? Shakespeare possibly offers a simple answer in his quote, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." However, at an elementary level, greatness refers to upholding a distinguished status, effectively setting apart the select few great individuals from the masses. Although, greatness can be highly subjective, some characteristics of great individuals are common throughout. For instance, great individuals tend to be intellectual and realistic; they devise concrete plans and strive to materialize them. Additionally, great individuals believe that the path of hardship and struggle is far better than the easy and immoral path. Finally, great individuals are generally humble and often selfless individuals who endeavor to achieve the greater good. Nevertheless, Gatsby believed that wealth makes a great man, but failed to recognize that those who attempt to achieve material prosperity deviate almost entirely from the true components of greatness. The immoral and materialistic pursuit of greatness is evident in famous films such as Scarface, which showcases an individual committing heinous acts to attain success. Similarly, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, provides a character aspiring greatness, who similarly resorts to criminal means to accomplish his objectives. Thus, despite Fitzgerald's immediate and consistent glorification of the character Gatsby; as in the novel's title, ultimately Gatsby represents a stark contrast to embodying greatness. Additionally it will be demonstrated that Gatsby's impractical and selfish ambitions caused him to pursue immoral avenues of procuring great riches. Thus, as Gatsby fails to understand what truly makes a great man and represents a start contrast to one, his pitiful and tragic demise was justified. Since overweening ambitions and selfish intentions are at the core of Gatsby's misguided attempt to achieving greatness, they are primarily responsible for Gatsby's ultimate downfall.All throughout the novel, Gatsby's impractical goals were a source of complications. In reality, Great individuals set solid goals while acknowledging both their potential and limitations. An example of a truly great individual is Mahatma Gandhi who revolutionized Indian society through civil disobedience with the use of non-violence. Gandhi could have attempted to fight the British and forcefully remove them, but this would have done much more harm than good. As is clearly revealed by Gandhi, great individuals must possess the ability to make concrete and practical goals. In comparison, Gatsby not only set impractical goals but he was also insecure and delusional. It is important to note that Gatsby had a very bleak upbringing in which he fled his home to fend for himself by the age of seventeen. Surviving on minimal pay, he dreamed endlessly of excessive material wealth and high social...

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