IsMr. Gatsby Truly Great?
Mr.Gatsby came from a normal background and managed to build himselfinto the rich man he was. Mr. Gatsby loved a lady by the name Daisyunconditionally. Like any great soul that ever lived, Mr. Gatsby hashis highs and lows. Mr. Gatsby was loyal, well mannered, andgenerous, focused on his dream and loved unconditionally. The titleGreat Mr. Gatsby brings many questions into the picture. First, wasMr. Gatsby Great, or Fitzgerald was just being satirical. The aim ofthis paper is to question and reveal whether Mr. Gatsby was trulygreat by looking at how Mr. Gatsby lived his life.
Mr.Gatsby was truly a great person. Mr. Gatsby greatness can beexemplified by the fact that though he was rich he committed hisundying love to one woman Daisy. It is so rare for a rich man tospend all his life chasing after one woman a woman who was alreadymarried by another man. Mr. Gatsby is seen to be great because he wasable to choose a goal focus on achieving it without losing focus.
Mr.Gatsby was a mysterious man. Little was known about him by the peopleof West Egg. Little was known about how he accrued his wealth. Forexample, in the novel Jordan makes the following comment, "Ithink he killed a man." (Fitzgerald48)
Mr.Gatsby is portrayed to be great in the story due to the number ofparties he held at his house. Mr. Gatsby first-class treatment to allhis guests earns him a celebrity status in the town and furtherelevates his greatness (Fitzgerald43)Mr.Gatsby greatness is amplified by the fact that he treats his guestsquite well even though he does not know them that much. In addition,his acts of kindness to a woman who tore her dress during one of hisparties further build his greatness image. For instance, Jordan makesthe following comments in the novel, “Mr. Gatsby gives largeparties, and I like them since they are so intimate." At smallparties, there is no privacy” (Fitzgerald54)
Nick,the narrator, believes that Mr. Gatsby is a great man. Nick believesMr. Gatsby is truly a good man, generous, sincere, loyal and loving.In this way, Nick believes he is great. No wonder in the end Nicksides with Gatsby. Nick believes that Mr. Gatsby was a great man whowas unfortunate to be a victim of Daisy and tom acts of selfishness.
Mr.Gatsby is great because he survived the war. Mr. Gatsby says that hedisplayed his great skills as a soldier that saw him rise in ranksduring the war. For instance in the novel Mr. Gatsby makes thefollowing comments,” I accepted a commission as a first lieutenantwhen the war began. On the Argonne forest, I took two machine gunsdetachments forward that there was a half mile gap between eitherside of us. It made it difficult for the infantry to advance".Mr. Gatsby continues to say” I was later promoted to a major andevery allied government gave me a decoration”(Fitzgerald 71).Afterthe war is over, Mr. Gatsby returns to America to look for Daisy.This act symbolizes the greatness in Mr. Gatsby because he never lostfocus of his love towards Gatsby.
Asmuch as Mr. Gatsby appeared great to others he was not always great.In fact, Mr. Gatsby image is mostly made up of lies. For instance,Mr. Gatsby makes the following comments in the novel” My family alldied, and I came into a good amount of money” (Fitzgerald71).Mr.Gatsby lied to nick about the source of his wealth yet the truth ofthe matter was that Mr. Gatsby gained his massive wealth through hisefforts. Although Mr. Gatsby lied about the source of his wealth toNick, the fact that he made his money to become extremely wealthymakes him much great in the eyes of the society.
Mr.Gatsby is lonely, desperate and insecure. Mr. Gatsby goes for anotherman’s wife. Such an act in the society is viewed as immoral.Through this act, Mr. Gatsby manages to bring out his greatness bywinning over daisy though briefly from Tom.
ThoughMr. Gatsby didn’t make his money through the most honest and legalways in the society, he managed to become the wealthiest in thesociety. This act brings outs Mr. Gatsby greatness as a master of theart of business. Gatsby’s richness can be seen from the lavishparties, expensive cars and house.
Greatsimilarities arise between Nick and Mr. Gatsby in the Novel. Nick andMr. Gatsby are both passionate about life, active in life,reflective, sober, loyal, good hearted men. However, a littlecomparison can be derived from Tom and Gatsby. Tom is an aristocraticbully who is cold-hearted and mean. On the other hand, Mr. Gatsbyappears as good hearted man, generous and loyal.
Thereason Mr. Gatsby lived the way he lived can be attributed to hislove for Daisy. Everything in Gatsby’s life revolves around Daisy.After the war, Mr. Gatsby returns to America to look for Daisy inorder to win her over. Mr. Gatsby finds Daisy in marriage due for herlove for Tom’s Wealth. Mr. Gatsby decides to work hard and becomeswealthy in order to win Daisy’s love. After the year 1919, Mr.Gatsby dedicated his life to winning Daisy’s love back. Daisy’slove was the main motivation behind all the immense wealthacquisition through criminal and illegal activities. Therefore, Mr.Gatsby led a life of criminality in order to impress Daisy. In thenovel tom makes the following comments as they argue with Gatsby,”I have made some little investigations into your affairs – I havefound out some of your drug stores” (Fitzgerald143).Mr.Gatsby and Meyer Wolfshiem bought up a lot of the side street drugstores in Chicago where they sold a lot of grain alcohol over thecounter that was illegal. Therefore, it is evident that Mr. Gatsbywent to war in order to make enough money for her and Daisy.
Mr.Gatsby buys his mansion opposite Toms home in order for Mr. Gatsby toalways get a good view of Daisy from her home. In fact, Jordan makesthe following comments in the novel,” Mr. Gatsby bought that houseso that Daisy would just be across the bay”(Fitzgerald 85).Inaddition to that, Mr. Gatsby holds flashy and expensive parties justopposite Daisy’s home in the hope that Daisy would one day appearin one of the parties. Jordan makes the following comments in thenovel, “I think he half expected her to wander into one of hisparties, some night but she never did” (Fitzgerald85).Whendaisy failed to show up for his parties Mr. Gatsby would go ahead andask people whether they knew about Daisy. Mr. Gatsby takes blame forkilling myrtle Wilson even though Daisy was the one who was drivingthe car. Mr. Gatsby sacrifices his life for her. In the novel nickasks the following questions,” was Daisy driving? Mr. Gatsbyresponds “yes, but I will say I was driving. You see, when we leftNew York she was very nervous, and she thought that it would steadyher to drive – and this woman just rushed out as we were passing”(Fitzgerald154).
Insummary, Mr. Gatsby was a great man however he had his weakness thatcost him his life and success in life. It is evident from the novelthat Mr. Gatsby was a hopeful and innocent man who pursued his dreamswith such vigor. He never gave up in chasing his dreams however henever realized that his dreams were never worthy of his sacrifice andtime. Daisy loves blinds Mr. Gatsby. Mr. Gatsby is unable to see hisdream disintegrating .Mr. Gatsby is a good man who suffers from theunselfish nature of both tom and daisy. Mr. Gatsby was a great man,and he deserved better in life as he did his best to follow andachieve his dreams though, not in the best ways possible. Mr. Gatsbystory reveals that money can corrupt an individual and alter theattainment of his goal. Mr. Gatsby was truly a great man and likemost heroes he had his flaws.
Fitzgerald,Scott F. TheGreat Gatsby.Minnesota: NuVision Publications, 2008.