Fitzgerald could have entitled the novel anything, The Diary of Nick Carroway,The Exploits of the Easterners, Nick’s Wild Adventure, but he chose The Great Gatsby. This leaves the reader with the question, “Why The Great Gatsby? Why ?great?’” Gatsby was not the most powerful man, he did not command the respect of millions or control a country. He was not the most famous man either, he was not a movie star or a renowned author. In fact, he only had three or four people attend his funeral service. So why then is Gatsby great? Gatsby was a gentleman who was absolutely devoted to his dream, and for this, is deemed Great.
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Gatsby was one of the last of a dying breed. He was a gentleman, something rare to be found in the twentieth century. His friend Meyer Wolfsheim said that he was the, “kind of man you’d like to take home and introduce to your mother and sister.” Wolfsheim also said that he would never so much look at another man’s wife. He was always polite and always very courteous. Gatsby opened his house to complete strangers, spending thousands on elaborate parties, yet never asked for a single penny in return. Gatsby, in his personal life, was kind and considerate to others. He minded his own business and respected others and their wishes.
The American dream is a shallow dream. It is a dream of wealth and power. Gatsby’s dream was not grounded in materialism. Instead, his dream was to regain the love that he once had for a girl named Daisy. He did not want money or power, but he felt needed it to prove his love for Daisy. He sought not to make a name for himself, unless it would help him relive his moment of bliss. Gatsby was better than those he knew. Nick said that he was worth more than everyone around him.
Gatsby devoted his life to following his dream. Everything he did, every penny he spent, every person he met were all somehow linked to his dream. Most people try to fulfill their dreams, but at the first obstacle, they quit. Instead, Gatsby never gave up in his commitment to reclaiming his love. While fighting in Europe and while traveling penniless he was dedicated to this. No matter what stood in his way, Gatsby did not give up. In the end, it was an impossible to dream to achieve. There was no way for him to turn back the clock, but he still never gave up hope.
Fitzgerald wrote the novel The Great Gatsby in a time of social revolution and economic prosperity. America had become obsessed with living the fast life, sex, money, and booze. He created the character of Gatsby as a sort of moral role-model for the nation to follow. He seemed to hope that people would escape their superficial goals and dreams, and look to something bigger, such as love and true happiness.