Trouble emerges when the wrong people and the wrong time collide, but a tragedy is not always necessarily the solution of that collision. However, in The Great Gatsby, Gatsby got murdered in the end of the novel. Despite the cause of it, his death itself is tragic. This novel leads the way to the fateful end of such a collision between the wrong man and the wrong time.
As what Marius Bewley argued, The Great Gatsby, written by American writer F. Scott. Fitzgerald in the1920's, demonstrates the corruption of the America dream and profoundly reveals the theme: the great and pitiful contrast between people's spiritual and material life during the Jazz Age. The American dream, which had been once looked up to and reached for, in the 1920s, became the nation's biggest irony. Bewley's argument was congruent to what Fitzgerald wrote in 1926, "The parties were bigger...the pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser, and the liquor was cheaper." The American people during this time were unlike their ancestors. Actually, they looked down on them, and their traditional rules and faith, the original American dream. The Great Gatsby is a novel not only criticizing the corrupt American Dream, but also telling a calamitous life story of a wrong man for the 1920s.
As a work a literature, The Great Gatsby can be seen as a tragedy because it fits the definition of it. ''A tragedy is a work of literature...The cause of the tragedy was a tragic flaw, or weakness, in his or her character...The main character can be an ordinary person, and the cause of the tragedy can be some evil in society itself. Tragedy not only arouses pity in the audience, but also conveys a sense of the grandeur and nobility of the human spirit.'' (Kinsella R20) The fitness of the elements in The Great Gatsby and this particular definition from a published textbook will prove that this novel is a work of tragedy. More specifically, the paper will start proving with four main
points: examples of the weaknesses in the main character, evidences of ''some evil in society itself,''
proof of the greatness in Gatsby's spirit, and evidences of the audience's pity attitude.
According to the definition of the classic Greek tragedy, the cause of the tragedy is a weakness in the main character's personality. Same as the definition, Gatsby's tragedy was caused by the problems in his character. ''Ultimately Gatsby is striving not for social prestige-pecuniary superiority-for its own sake; not even for Daisy for her own sake; but for possession.'' (Bizzell 776) As the quote states, in his mind, Gatsby stuck labels simply on the person he loved and wanted, Daisy, based on what she had, possession. Without realizing there was a face under the label he stuck on, that label became what he loved and wanted. Daisy ''symbolizes wealth, the ultimate goal of pecuniary emulation; she is the "golden girl" whose "voice is full of money" (120).'' (Bizzell...