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Great Gatsby Characters Description Essay Research

In the book, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, certain characters

developed so that they contradict another character personality traits. This

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setup allows the characteristics of these two characters to be greatly notice by

the readers. In this case, the development of Nick and Gatsby are a

contradiction of each other: on one hand there is Nick who develops greatly

through the story and on the other hand there is Gatsby, a man caught up in the

corruptions of his own life. Let?s study these two different characters.

Unlike Nick, Gatsby does not develop in the course of the story. He cannot

because his whole life is devoted to the fulfillment of a romantic dream that he

created a long time ago. He is still caught in an adolescent faith, which is the

only thing that will keep this dream alive in him. His personal vision is based

on the illusory belief that time can be ?fixed? and the past can be

recreated. ?Can?t repeat the past? He cried incredulously. Of course you

can.? ( ) He is content with the thought that things will change to the way

that he wishes them to be. He is caught up in a romantic vision of him and Daisy

and by doing this is keeping himself from moving forward and progressing as an

individual. Because of this, throughout the entire story he holds onto the same

ideas that he can do and get anything he wants because he has money, and to him

that equals power. Nick Carraway on the other hand develops very thoroughly in

the story. The story, although narrated by Nick about Gatsby?s life, is also a

story of Nick?s own development in the story. In the beginning Nick is already

a sophisticated observer of characters but reserves his personal judgement,

remaining uninvolved in the sense that he is not willing to act upon what he

feels are the faults of the other individuals around him. Some example is when

he realizes Jordan baker is a liar and that this a defect held in her

personality. ?She was incurably dishonest.? (63) Another time is when he

truly discovers s the irresponsibility of Tom and Daisy. At the point that he

draws all these conclusions about the characters he is still willing to tolerate

the defects of these individuals. The turning point of his development occurs

when he sees the reactions of Jordan and the Buchanans to Myrtle Wilson?s

death. At this time, nick finally stands back and develops a full sense of moral

responsibility. He realizes that he can no longer tolerate the moral vacancy

that lies beneath the wealth and sophistication of eastern society, and so in

the end returns to the west, after carefully fulfilling his personal

responsibilities. ?Retreated back into their money or vast carelessness?and

let other people clean the mess they had made??(188) At the books end we see

that Nick has finally become a man and has developed to realize that wealth is

not a substitute to moral responsibility. Another point where we can notice the

maturation of Nick is during his critiquing of Gatsby?s life. As Gatsby sees

it all as dream that will be fulfilled Nick begins to notice and become aware of

the certain flaws that this dream holds. Studying Gatsby and the way he runs his

life, Nick becomes aware of the fact that an ideal based on materialism alone is

a corruption rather than a fulfillment. Nick also develops as he studies the

better aspects of Gatsby?s life as well. He discovers that although he is

stuck in a fantasy world of corrupt dreams that it is better than being

motivated by complete selfishness like everyone else. He sees towards the end of

the book that Gatsby is a man just trying to create a dream he once while the

others are filled with corruption and deception of the others. Nick also

develops when it comes to the idea with his relationship with Jordan baker. Nick

could have easily let the relationship take care of itself before he left but he

insisted on terminating it, even though he still feels very strong for her. He

believes that before he leaves needs to ?leave things in order? and doing

this takes a lot of maturity and responsibility So in the end it is seen how

these two characters contrast each other. One is a developing young man learning

through life and figuring out what he wants to become and the other is a man

who?s life was thrown away on a corrupted dream of greed and wealth. These two

characters have a contradiction that makes the story into of the greatest

stories of this century.


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