Essay on The Great Gatsby

Submitted By keitonaltose
Words: 1061
Pages: 5

In the course of reading this American Classic I have grown to understand the different techniques and styles of writing Fitzgerald uses to convey the story. While Fitzgerald’s imagery was not always clear to me, I pressed through to obtain the deeper understanding of this book through the words he used to convey this timeless tale as well as through endless hours of research and discussions. When looking at the purpose of a novel, we must also look at the author himself. Fitzgerald was an ex patriot and spent most of his time writing in Europe, and was married to a very eccentric woman. He was by all accounts a party animal who enjoyed a good party and a stiff drink. The book itself examines many of Fitzgerald’s personal obstacles almost as if Nick represents the man he wanted to be, and Daisy seems to have some likeness to Ella Fitzgerald as well. The book elaborates upon the atmosphere of the roaring 20’s, a time when the American Dream was something that everyone struggled towards. A spouse, children, money, and a big house were all very important as success was greatly determined by these things. These rags to riches story are commonly told throughout history - yet for Gatsby, though he acquires great material wealth, he falls short of this dream. This is illustrated through Nick, who is trying to make it big, yet narrates the story through negative connotations and descriptive disillusionment. I believe FitzGerald’s point in writing the novel was to criticize the way of life of the people in America. It is clear that he felt Americans were too focused on greed, money and power. I come back to my thoughts about the billboard for Dr. Eckleberg. The eyes represent insight - or lack thereof - and shows that the characters really have very little self-knowledge or knowledge of one another. Daisy and Tom completely "forget" about the fact that their two lovers are dead, as though they don't care. The only character with “insight” is Nick. The story itself clearly demonstrates isolation of America through it’s own people. On his last visit to Gatsby’s house, Nick realizes that Gatsby’s belief in life and love resembles the hope and dreams much like those of early Dutch sailors coming to America. Gatsby is a reflection of these dreams. So, in what way is Gatsby representative of the American Dream? When a person figures out what they want in life, they need to structure a plan of action in order to achieve these goals. Gatsby had an “extraordinary gift of hope” For him wealth was a means to bridge the gap between him and Daisy, who is both beautiful and wealthy. His goal was to win Daisy back from Tom. Money was just a tool to him to help him acquire this goal. Gatsby is able to manipulate and change his fate of being born penniless into an unsuccessful farming family in the Mid-west. He heads off to the East Coast to pursue his dream. He amasses a great fortune, changes his name to gain more prestige as he climbs up the social ladder. He buys a fancy yellow car, a deluxe yacht, preppy clothes, and stacks of books to the point of showing off. Having made enough money, he begins to implement his plans, to buy Daisy’s love. He buys an expensive mansion at West Egg, close to Daisy’s at East Egg so that he can always glaze at "the green light that burns all night at the end of your [Daisy’s] dock" . He also throws extravagant parties to flaunt his wealth in the hopes of attracting her to one. No one actually knows who Gatsby is and what he did for a living. They just believe that he killed a man once and was a bootlegger. In Tom’s eyes, Gatsby is his social inferior. Gatsby, who just happened to be rich and will always be below him in the social hierarchy. Fitzgerald is deliberately showing shallowness in these characters by going out of his way to make them seem three dimensional in the