Gatsby Paper

Submitted By gnfnr86
Words: 1286
Pages: 6

Mr. Jahnke
English 10 4A
28 May 2014
The Great Gatsby Paper
There Was a Time
“You can’t put your arms around a memory, you can’t put your arms around a memory, you can’t put your arms around a memory; don’t try, don’t try.” are the lyrics of You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders. That statement is like a warning towards Gatsby, telling him not to try to do something he can not. The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920’s, a time when a lot of corruption and criminal activity started to happen to live large in the world. In 1920 Prohibition went into effect, stopping people from drinking alcohol. This was meant by the government to “improve society”, but really ended up just leading to more criminal activity including bootlegging. Along with bootlegging to get rich and live large, people also started betting illegally on things. The Black Sox Scandal of the 1919 World Series is a prime example of this, where the game was thrown by the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds in return for money from people betting on the game. The eight players involved in the scandal were eventually acquitted in court, but nonetheless all eight were still banned from baseball for life. Around the 1920’s, another change going on was modernism becoming more popular among the American culture. Modernism was in a way rebelling against the norm, and was creating a new by breaking down the old and coming through with new ideas. The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald was definition written in a modernist point of view. Throughout the story, Gatsby shows a great deal of hope and Daisy shows a great deal of representing modernism and characterization. Jay Gatsby not only represents a great deal of hope, but also truly expresses the theme of hope. Gatsby’s main goal is to get Daisy back, and get her to love him again and go back to the way it used to be. After reading, one could figure out that that is why Gatsby held the parties, primarily to lure Daisy into coming to one. As Gatsby’s process, or journey, to befriend Daisy once again goes on he ends up befriending Nick. The only reason Gatsby befriends Nick is solely because he knows Nick is friendly with Daisy. Daisy and Gatsby had a previous relationship, but while Gatsby was in the army Daisy had left him for Tom because of his lavish lifestyle. Gatsby has been on a journey since then to win Daisy back, no matter what it takes. Once reading further, one can infer via Nick’s relationship with Gatsby that Gatsby really is not the man he claims to be. Gatsby was just a poor farm boy at one time named James Gatz, who had worked as an assistant to Dan Cody. Gatsby learnt from Dan Cody how he made money, and Gatsby followed in his footsteps very carefully. Gatsby got into the organized crime business, and started bootlegging and became rich this way. It is very easy to pick out examples of Gatsby expressing hope towards his so called journey of getting Daisy back. “‘Can’t repeat the past?’” ... “‘Why of course you can’” (Fitzgerald pg. 116) is what Gatsby exclaimed when Nick told him he “‘can’t repeat the past’” (Fitzgerald pg.116). In this example, Gatsby thinks since he has unlimited wealth and achieved a godly social status that he has the power to achieve anything he likes or desires. He is blind and oblivious to the situation, and acts rather naive for a man who is smart enough to participate in organized crime and not get caught straight out. The reason for Gatsby being oblivious to the situation is a cause of his great hope, and his hope that he can one day live with Daisy and have the perfect life. In the quote “‘We haven’t met for many years,’ said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be. ‘Five years next November,’ said Gatsby” (Fitzgerald pg. 92) it shows that Gatsby had cared enough to be keeping track of how long him and Daisy were apart, and how much it means to him. He really cared about her that long, and has had his hopes up