In The Great Gatsby, Is Gatsby Truly Great?

1013 words - 4 pages

  Is great Gatsby truly great? It seems so according to Nick Carraway, the narrator in the novel of “The Great Gatsby.” Nick has a moral background that allows him to judge Jay Gatsby accordingly. His descriptions did not only creates sympathy, but also made Gatsby, the outlaw bootlegger, somehow admirable. F. Scott Fitzgerald presented this ethical trick to expose people’s delusions about the American dream, and uses Nick to show sympathy for strivers.
  At the roaring ages of 1920s, the booming economy brings up the notion of American dream. People chase the American dream in pursuit of happiness while some of them believe that wealth will fix everything in life. For the same reason, they are wiling to idolize Gatsby. Chasers are inspired by achievers just like how Nick is fascinated by Gatsby before knowing him .Nick’s fascination turns into idolization after Gatsby invites Nick to his party. Nick describes Gatsby had “one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life(Ch.3).” Such description unifies the appearance of Gatsby with people’s expectation of a man who accomplished the American dream.
   The obsession with wealth often blinds people from the potential crisis. The crisis of having everything they worked and struggled for redefined if the reality fails them. Just like strivers who chase the American dream, Gatsby also spend his whole life in persue of his American dream, which Daisy was a major component of it. Gatsby’s “American dream” seems actualized when Daisy comments him “resemble the advertisement of the man(Ch7).” But Daisy eventually betrays Gatsby and went back to the arms of Tom. This is the final nail in the coffin, with Gatsby’s dream buried inside. It also implied the inevitable death of Gatsby at the end, because having dreams makes one truly alive. Chasers of the American dream would love to see a happy ending for Gatsby, because it will be assuring their delusion about wealth. But Fitzgerald pointed out the high price for “living too long with a single dream.” by arranging the tragical death of Gatsby.
  For people who consider the American dream to be their only dream, pursuing it could also be destructive. Because with only one single dream to full fill, people tend to be irrational and therefore be self-destructive sometimes. The death of Myrtle Wilson also exemplifies such notion. Myrtle marries a man who is unable to provide the glamours life she longs for, she believes that Tom will save her from living in the room above the garage for the rest of her life. Ironically, she gallops to her death thinking Tom is driving the car that runs over and kills her.
  With Nick, we are allowed to see Gatsby and other strivers with sympathy. Because Gatsby symbolizes all the strivers of the American dream since they both have a single dream to live with. Through Nick’s vision, Gatsby’s obsession and agony is clear to us.When Nick meets Gatsby for...

Find Another Essay On In The Great Gatsby, Is Gatsby Truly Great?

Moralism in The Great Gatsby Essay

889 words - 4 pages is a girl who had caught a glimpse of the great life, but who lacked the courage to live it, someone who chose in the end to live the sophisticated life rather than the loving life" (Frohock 78). The reason behind Daisy's marriage to Tom is since he was wealthy and he had convinced her not to wait for Gatsby to return from the war. Early on in the book , she is portrayed as sweet and innocent. Her white and seemingly floating dress appeals to

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

2082 words - 9 pages status in which members of the Jazz Age are born into a class system, and despite attempts to rise up—such as James Gatz changing his name to Jay Gatsby—all characters are stuck under a “glass ceiling” in society. Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan are born into great wealth, and their surnames depict their pretentious nature and sophistication caused by their high class from birth, while their given names depict their individual character. Daisy is like

Dishonesty in The Great Gatsby

1514 words - 6 pages Lies are a treacherous thing, yet everyone tells a few lies during their lifetime. Deceit surrounds us all the time; even when one reads classic literature. For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald makes dishonesty a major theme in his novel The Great Gatsby. The falsehoods told by the characters in this novel leads to inevitable tragedy when the truth is revealed. Jay Gatsby, one of the main characters in the novel, fails to realize that

Narratology in The Great Gatsby

1791 words - 7 pages desperate to know what will happen next. The Great Gatsby is unpredictable throughout the use of gaps, consciousness and conflict. Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald’s narrator, relates Jay Gatsby’s story in a manner that is at once concise and indirect. These two qualities are not at odds with each other; in fact, the more concise one is, the more one must leave out. Matthew J. Bolton points out in his article “A Fragment of Lost Words”: Narrative Ellipses

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

532 words - 2 pages The Great Gatsby Symbols Throughout the book the Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, there are many examples of very simple things that have a deeper meaning or represent more than meets the eye. The book is narrated by Nick Carraway, and is about a man named Gatsby who throws huge parties where he doesn’t even make an appearance, all in an attempt to win back his lost lover Daisy who is married to Tom Buchanan. Gatsby is a big figure in

Symbolism in the Great Gatsby

1086 words - 5 pages The Canadian musician Rick Danko once said” As time goes on we get closer to that American Dream of there being a pie cut up and shared. Usually greed and selfishness prevent that and there is always one bad apple in every barrel”. This is true in the Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzergerald. This is story mainly about a self-made man named Jay Gatsby and the decay of his American dream, which is to get Daisy Buchannan back after five years of being

Narratology in the Great Gatsby

2169 words - 9 pages believe that Gatsby is a true genuine man. Due to the fact that Gatsby is possibly making up his own backstory, any identity can be simulated or made-up, endangering the physical foundation of Nick's own privileged identity. Nick's reaction to Gatsby’s lying about his past with the argument that Benjamin Schreier points out in his article Desire's Second Act: "Race" and The Great Gatsby's Cynical Americanism: “Nick, while not concerned with racial

Illusion in the Great Gatsby

1071 words - 4 pages Great Gatsby Fitzgerald suggests many things about illusion and reality. I think that the strongest thing Fitzgerald suggests is that you create your own illusion, and with this illusion, you shape the person that you are. All of the rich people in this book have some sort of illusion surrounding their persona, but Gatsby has the greatest of all illusions surrounding him.Gatsby is presented as living the charmed life, with plenty of friends, no

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby

853 words - 3 pages In the novel, The Great Gatsby, there is lots of reflection on symbolism, and especially colored symbolism. In this novel symbolism is a very important factor, it shows the difference between the different characters and scenes in the novel. The color green influences the story a lot. Green shows many thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and choices that Gatsby has throughout the story. White too plays an even more important role in the novel as it is

Love in The Great Gatsby

935 words - 4 pages The great Gatsby can be characterized as being one of the great American love stories of the 20th century. Love is a major theme throughout the novel, whether it is between Tom and Myrtle, nick and Jordan or Gatsby and Daisy. Although all the affairs in the novel seems tangled they are very different form each other.One of the affairs in the novel is the relationship between Tom and Myrtle. They met for the first time on a train when myrtle was

Materialism in The Great Gatsby

1137 words - 5 pages Materialism may be defined as attention to or emphasis on material objects, needs or considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual values. The acquisition of material wealth is often equated with happiness in this country. This is true today, and it was true during the 1920's, the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. That the majority of Americans believe that wealth and happiness are the same is a result of

Similar Essays

The Truly Great Gatsby By Fitzgerald

872 words - 3 pages The Truly Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald Hopes and dreams are needed to give man's efforts a meaning, or a purpose. Pushing towards some ideal is how man can feel a sense of his own identity. In the novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a man with tremendous and "infinite hope" (Fitzgerald, 6). To be able to accomplish a life long dream, one must have strong determination that can in no way be weakened by any obstacles one might face. It is the

Gatsby Is Really Great In The Great Gatsby

1181 words - 5 pages people were eluded by this ability. This perfectly fits the definition of greatness. Gatsby exhibits a trait that puts him above the average. Gatsby can be clearly seen as a physical embodiment of the American Dream, his story of rags to riches, and moving in order to secure his dreams. Thus, just as Gatsby’s greatest virtue is hope, so to is hope a great virtue of the American Dream. While Gatsby is at first described as a kind

The Great Gatsby: Is Gatsby Moral?

1675 words - 7 pages The Great Gatsby is a story written by Scott Fitzgerald. It is a story about a twisted love affair among the main characters, daisy and Gatsby. The author though his characters shows how striving for wealth defined individuals dreams. Moreover, the story revolves around a pursuit of happiness for the protagonist. This story represents characters who fail to learn from their past experiences and mistakes. The characters in this book are static

Is Gatsby Really 'great'? Essay

1085 words - 4 pages The "Great Gatsby" is essentially about the rise and fall of the American Dream, and what meaning that held for Gatsby. It is also about how the American Dream is seen by Gatsby, not to obtain something materialistic, money, but to reach a goal not in keeping at all with what the American Dream stands for. For him the American Dream is a vehicle toward his goal.The greatness of "Gatsby" can be explored through a variety of viewpoints. One can