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...

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