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The Great Gatsby Essay Research Paper Why

The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper

Why was Gatsby so Great?

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The Roaring 20’s was a time of celebration, but to many the 20’s were instead

seen as a decade of decadence. Many wealthy people lived reckless and careless lives,

not caring about anything but the next party or social function. In Scott Fitzgerald’s

novel, The Great Gatsby, the narrator, Nick Carroway, observes the greedy, selfish

behavior of the rich. This uninhibited view into others soul’s causes Nick to lose faith in

mankind until he met Jay Gatsby, the mysterious man who this novel is written about.

What made Gatsby so different from the average American? To answer this question,

one must observe, through Nick Carroway’s eyes, Gatsby’s hopeful yet tragic dream,

personality, and how he kept his dream alive.

“Wearing the gold hat and bouncing high” (1), may seem like the ultimate lifestyle

to most, but to Gatsby this wasn’t. Gatsby’s dream was not to be successful, but to

instead obtain his obsession (Daisy) and have her “cry lover, gold-hatted, high bouncing

lover, I must have you” (1). The money, cars, fancy house, and parties were never for

himself; rather they were what he thought would lead Daisy to love him, in turn achieving

his dream. The tragic truth for Gatsby was that without all the money he would be just a

“nobody from nowhere” (137), to Daisy. Although to the outside world it looked like

Gatsby had everything; his dream was never truly achieved. Interestingly enough this

was also the case with the author, Fitzgerald, who also lived the high life in order to gain

the affection of his wife, Zelda, even though it was not what made him happy.

In order to obtain dreams, one must be careful, thoughtful, and inspired. This is

not the case for the many of the established Americans. “Careless, smashing up things

and then retreating back into their money or their vast carelessness and letting other

people clean up the mess they had made…”(187,188). This is the general opinion Nick

held of the wealthy, but Gatsby was different. Gatsby didn’t take everything for granted.

He had worked very hard to get where he was, which made him a very real person in an

insincere, indifferent world. Gatsby also chose not to drink, so that his thinking was cold

and clear. Instead of being careless and reckless, Gatsby chose to think and plan for the

future, which helped to keep his dream alive, and gave him direction.

Even when James Gatz was just a boy, he knew he wanted to be wealthy and

established. After meeting Daisy and losing her, it just added fuel to the fire. Gatsby

went to great lengths to keep his dream alive. Jay Gatsby himself was created by Gatz

to please Daisy. Gatsby also strategically moved across the lake from Daisy and threw

big parties in hopes that she would “wander in with the crowd” (84). It also can be

assumed that Gatsby’s friendship with Nick (which did lead him back to Daisy) was also


The ending to this book is not the happy fairy tale that one would expect. Instead

Gatsby’s unfulfilled life was cut short by the careless and reckless ways of others. In

conclusion, Gatsby’s life was great, but somewhat tragic because while he stayed with

his dream to the end, he wasn’t alive to achieve it.

Work Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York. Simon & Schuster Inc., 1992.


Work Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York. Simon & Schuster Inc., 1992.


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