Honors English 117
10 November 2014
The True Life of Jay Gatsby People say “You learn somthing new everyday”, this is true, one cannot go a day without learning something different. On a daily basis one learn about themselves and one another. It is not just about learning lessons; life is about learning from mistakes and making choices that will have a positive effect on one's life. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has taught many lessons about learning about someone’s past before judging and how its not that easy fitting in somewhere one doesn’t belong.
In society people try to conform even if it means going against what they believe to be morally correct. Within The Great Gatsby, Gatsby went to the unimaginable to fit in with everyone. When people attend Gatsby’s parties, not many people knew anything about him,
“‘Theres something funny about a fellow that’ll do a thing like that,’...’He doesn’t want any trouble with anybody.’...’Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.’...’I don’t think it’s so much that,’... ‘it’s more that he was a German spy during the war.’...’I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him in Germany,’”(4344). Gatsby may have thought he was perfectly fine; not knowing many people in his house, but, Gatsby’s parties were his way of fitting in with the higher social class. By trying to act like the people Gatsby is around, he is creating a false image for himself that may or may not be what he want to be known for, “They look out of no face, but, instead from a pair of enormous yellow low spectacles which pass over
a nonexistent nose” (23). The yellow spectacles on a face that represents God shows how much money from the upper classes have caused a wasteland of ashes,making it a challenge to succeed. As a result of Gatsby not completely fitting in; Nick imagined Gatsby would tell him after he was killed, “‘Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me. You’ve got to try hard. I can’t go through this alone.”’(165). Gatsby really tried to fit in with people but he just never did; however, in order for him to feel complete, he wanted people to know he was dead.
Trying to fit in with people one does not belong with usually ends in disaster.
In society today, many people tend to judge others that are different from them, because they’re jealous or envious of what they have. Within The Great Gatsby people barely ever judge one another, due to the wide spread of conformity in society in the 1920’s. One of the things people did was have affairs, “‘Why’ she said hesitantly, ‘Tom’s got some woman in New
York’”(15). Everyone often knew about the affairs, but they rarely spoke of it, this way it would seem as if it didn’t happen. In Tom and Daisy’s marriage, Daisy knew something suspicious was going on but didn’t want to admit it out loud to anyone. Same with Gatsby and Daisy’s affair, they would meet in a more informal setting, often with Nick, so it was almost okay since they were with people. In Tom’s case, he was very open with his affair with Myrtle Wilson “‘Doesn’t her husband object?’ ‘Wilson? He thinks she goes to see her sister in New York. He’s so dumb he doesn’t know he’s alive’” (26). Tom has now invited Nick and some others over to his apartment in New York City that he saves for him and Myrtle. In the year 1919 alcohol was banned from every house and bar in the United States; but that didn’t stop many people from getting their beloved alcohol. Many of the most respected people in the US abused alcohol the most: “...either is was terrible stuff or the whiskey distorted things, because it didn’t make any
sense to me.” (29), When one thinks of the color gold they think of wealth and power, how about yellow, the sun? Compared to gold, yellow has nothing; however, people never think of the fake gold, almost like pyrite; otherwise, known as