The Great Gatsby Theme Essay

1878 words - 8 pages

Themes of hope, success, and wealth overpower The Great Gatsby, leaving the reader with a new way to look at the roaring twenties, showing that not everything was good in this era. F. Scott Fitzgerald creates the characters in this book to live and recreate past memories and relationships. This was evident with Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship, Tom and Daisy’s struggling marriage, and Gatsby expecting so much of Daisy and wanting her to be the person she once was. The theme of this novel is to acknowledge the past, but do not recreate and live in the past because then you will not be living in the present, taking advantage of new opportunities.
Gatsby has many issues of repeating his past instead of living in the present. A common example of this would be his ultimate goal to win Daisy back. He keeps thinking about her and how she seems perfect for him, but he remembers her as she was before she was married to Tom. He has not thought about the fact that she has a daughter, and has been married to Tom for four years, and the history there is between them. The reader cannot be sure of Gatsby trying to recreate the past until the reunion between him and Daisy. This becomes evident when Nick talks to Gatsby about how he is living in the past, specifically when Nick discusses Daisy with him. “‘I wouldn’t ask too much of her,’ Gatsby ventured. ‘you can’t repeat the past.’ I said. ‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can!’” (110). This excerpt shows how Gatsby still has not learned that eventually he will have to just accept the past and move forward with his life. If he keeps obsessing about Daisy, and trying to fix the past, more of his life will be wasted on this impossible goal. Throughout the book there are passages of Gatsby trying to relive the past so that he will be able to only see the good memories and not the bad. This is noticeable when he is talking to Nick. He thinks he can fix everything which we see when he is talking to Nick, “ ‘ I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,’ Gatsby said, and nodding determinedly. ‘She’ll see.’ ”(110). At this point in the novel Gatsby sees how close his goal is, but he feels that the only way to get Daisy is to repeat the past and ignore the present, so she can feel the way she did about Gatsby before she met Tom. All the characters in this book will do anything to repeat the past, and do not see all the opportunities in front of them. Yet they are living in the roaring twenties, when everyone was trying to move forward with there lives. This idea from society is ironic to the characters in the book, because society is taking advantage of these opportunities of being wealthy, getting jobs, and living in the moment. Ironically Daisy, Gatsby, and Tom are living in the past, trying to take advantage of of opportunities that have already ended, specifically with Gatsby and Daisy’s relationship.
Daisy throughout the novel was part of a...

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