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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s - The Great Gatsby

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, the subject, Jay Gatsby, eludes extensive description of character. During the extent of the narrative the reader creates his own opinion of the individual. Fitzgerald intended this to create suspicion towards Gatsby. Despite the questionable characteristics, Fitzgerald did have reason for describing Gatsby as “great”. Such a reason is not clearly found on the surface, but more so on his driving spirit and determination. From the introduction of Gatsby’s character he is constantly being driven by his dreams of Daisy. No obstacle was impenetrable. This trait of Gatsby is what makes him “great”. In a lifestyle and society of careless and irresponsible people he seems pure. Unlike others who merely exist to entertain themselves, he did not acquire wealth for his own comfort, but for Daisy. An example of his pursuit for his dream and not for shallow amusement is his parties. Gatsby often holds exciting parties with interesting people, in which no expense is spared, but he himself barely makes an appearance at them. This shows that he does not wish to have a good time he is only after his dream.

Myrtle Wilson is not a character which influences the story herself, but more by her actions. Being Tom’s mistress the reader initially assumes she is a “bad” person. After further examination she seems to draw feelings of sympathy and pity. The feelings originate from the fact that she contains some of the same traits as Gatsby. She is not a “bad” person she is just following her dream, as was Gatsby. Not only were they both following a dream, but also, in essence, it was the same dream, to fit in with high-society. Myrtle was not Tom’s mistress because she was unfaithful to her husband; it was a way for her to live her dream of the wealthy life. The reader also has feelings of sympathy for Myrtle because she almost seems pathetic. In her small apartment she has decorated it with lavish objects to imitate the appearance of wealth. Also when Tom and Nick visited the Wilson’s house she made a point to explain that she did not care what she looked like when it was obvious that she did.

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Category:   Great Gatsby

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