14 January 2013
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald 180). This final line of The Great Gatsby is the concluding judgment for both Jay Gatsby and the whole novel. The narrator, Nick Carraway, exposes Gatsby’s goal to escape his past as unsuccessful. Fitzgerald expresses how everyone is a little like Gatsby, boats moving up a river, going forward but still feeling the pull of the past. Fitzgerald’s stylistic devices not only express Gatsby’s great “capacity for wonder” but also America as a whole.
Fitzgerald portrays Nick Carraway with a nostalgic tone at the end of the book. Nick’s words depict the respectful melancholy that he finally brings to his study of Gatsby’s life. He not only reminisces about Gatsby’s ambitious character while mourning his death but also reflects on America. He links the fate of America to Gatsby’s fate. Nick sees Gatsby as man who can escape the past and go into his world of dreams. America is a place for progress and equality, a place where dreamers can thrive. Tom and Daisy represent an aristocracy in the New World; however, no matter how much wealth and greatness Gatsby had, he could not become part of their world. His attempt to create his own destiny was ruined by them. Just like America has not yet overcome European values, Gatsby cannot overcome his own western roots. Nick cherishes and values him nonetheless.
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.” This green…