The Tragic Hero Of The Great Gatsby

1500 words - 6 pages

Achilles' hamartia was his heel, Samson's was his love for Delilah, and Hamlet's was his indecisiveness. The definition of hamartia is a fatal flaw that leads to the downfall of a hero. In each of these heroes' cases, they had a specific flaw lead to their demise. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby: the main character, Jay Gatsby is the tragic hero. Like all tragic heroes, he inspires the feeling of sympathy from readers. The thing that makes him so relatable is his hopefulness in pursuing the American Dream, just like so many others have felt and experienced. Usually, we attribute being a dreamer as a good thing. However, in The Great Gatsby, that stereotype is broken. Jay Gatsby is an excessively hopeful man who was obsessed with fitting in to high society and recapturing the past with his ex lover, Daisy. He did not know how or when to stop, because it was the core part of who he was. The lengths he was willing to go to achieve his goals were staggering, and it eventually lead to his downfall. That is why Jay Gatsby is the tragic hero of The Great Gatsby, and his hamartia would be his reckless dreaming. His reckless dreaming is seen through his extravagant measures to meet with Daisy and his persistence in pursuing his dream even after it had been shattered. Finally, it was proven that his reckless dreaming had lead to his downfall when Nick, the narrator had foreshadowed the cause of his downfall at the very beginning of the novel.

Gatsby was initially a mystery to the readers. Nobody knew who he was and where he came from. When he moved into his new mansion in West Egg, he started throwing huge parties where everybody was invited; yet he never participated in them. He was a generous, but invisible host. Later on, we find out the reasons why Gatsby had appeared out of nowhere. It was all part of his plan to meet with his ex lover, Daisy. He had taken those extravagant measures to make sure that his dreams were for sure, going to come true. He bought that specific mansion to be across from Daisy's house in East Egg and threw all those lavish parties in hopes that she might wander in one night. This is proven when Daisy's friend, Jordan says, “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would just be across the bay.” and “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night.” (Fitzgerald 78) From this quote, it is evident that Gatsby is obviously willing to go great lengths to achieve his dreams. In order for him to pull it off, he had to raise a lot of money, among other things. In addition to raising the massive amounts of money for his cause, he creates a new persona for himself as well. There is an intricate plot that goes on behind the scenes of it all. He had gone a long way just to become rich; he came from nothing and worked his way up through shady business practices. The new persona he had created for himself was one of a man who comes from a wealthy family background and belongs in high...

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