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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby – A Life Foolishly Lived

The Great Gatsby: A Life Foolishly Lived

Released in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby cleverly demonstrates the manners and morals commonly practiced throughout the time period. The plot revolves around several main themes and effectively expresses Fitzgerald’s unique perspective. With an objective standpoint, Nick Carraway narrates the story as Jay Gatsby, a foolish racketeer, tries to win over his lifelong love, Daisy Buchanan. Although pecuniary matters can often be too large of an influence on human relationships, the novel unveils several powerful battles entangling love, morals, and money.

As Nick Carraway follows the tale of Jay Gatsby pursuing a dream, Gatsby can be observed as a foolish man working so hard, and yet accomplishing nothing. One of the numerous reasons why Jay Gatsby can be seen as foolhardy when simply pursuing a dream is not because he is foolish, but rather because of the method in which he does. Stretching back to the roots of his life, Gatsby was not a wealthy person in upbringing. Following a rigorous daily schedule and constant attempts at bettering his moral values are two of his hopeful methods to win over Daisy Buchanan. Improvements such as, “No more smoking or chewing, Bath every other day, be better to parents” (182), were yet a few of his guidelines to strive for constant self-improvement. Although realizing that Daisy cannot be so easily won over, Gatsby continues to toil in attempt to win his sole love.

Not only did he concentrate on actual values in life for the future, Gatsby resolves to himself that he must change his past. Because of his dissatisfaction with his original name, James Gats, he alters his name to the more attractive Jay Gatsby….

… middle of paper …

… the novel vividly depicted a life foolishly lived, only for a lost goal so long sought.

Works Cited

Raleigh, John Henry. “F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.” Mizener 99-103.

Sklar, Robert. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Last Laocoon. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1967.

Trilling, Lionel. “F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Critical Essays on Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby.” Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: Hall, 1984. 13-20.

1. Underline titles of novels.

2. When quoting, the final punctuation should come after the parentheses instead of inside the quote, “Right you are” (72). Instead of “right you are.”

3. I see several different focuses within your paper, from the foolishness of Jay Gatsby to Myrtle to the corruption of the twenties. Stick to one of the topics and explore it fully instead of jumping from topic to topic.

gatillus American Illusions in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

American Illusions in The Great Gatsby

The American dream. Every American has his or her own ideals and preferences, but all share more or less the same dream. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald explores what happens when this dream is taken too far. What is one to do when the dream begins to overshadow reality? What are the consequences when a successful man allows the dream to matter more than life itself? Fitzgerald tells all through the hopeless Gatsby, idealistic Nick, and ignorant Myrtle.

Mansions, cars, jewels, and extravagant parties- what more could a person want? Gatsby had it all, yet he was still empty inside, craving more. All the riches Gatsby has mean nothing without his great love, Daisy. Gatsby strived to become successful for the sole purpose of capturing Daisy’s heart. However, Gatsby’s dream is an unattainable and hopeless dream for he can never win her love. Daisy and Gatsby live only miles apart, but their relationship is eons apart, as Daisy is already attached. Gatsby is pursuing “a transcendent significance outside of society and beyond the notability of history” (Lynn 180). Gatsby is dreaming “the American dream” that anything is possible, but the tragic flaw within him is that he is living in the past and cannot see the destructive future that lies ahead. Gatsby says, “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,… She’ll see,” and he does not realize that he cannot make it the way it was before (Fitzgerald 114). When Gatsby does get the chance to prove himself to Daisy, it is already too late. According to Fitzgerald, “the whole caravansay had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes,” (Fitzgerald 114). Gatsby’s downfall is in the fact that he is unable to determine the fine line that divides reality and illusion in his life. The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock burns bright for Gatsby, but Gatsby does not realize that he cannot ever capture the light. He continues to dream blindly. This is evident when Nick tells Gatsby that he cannot relive the past and Gatsby replies, “Why of course you can, old sport!” (Fitzgerald 116). Gatsby’s dream of capturing Daisy’s love is based on a fantasy of romance, but the truth is that Daisy is already taken and no amount of money or popularity can change that.

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