The first thing you see when you pick up this book is the Title “The Great Gatsby” So already you expect Gatsby to great before you have even opened the book. As the first chapter unravels The Narrator and Gatsby’s Neighbor Nick Carraway, tells us plainly that he loathes Gatsby, however by the end of the paragraph he describes Gatsby’s character as “gorgeous”. He also says “No Gatsby turned out alright in the end. ” From now we begin to wonder about how great Gatsby really is? On one hand he is “vile” because Carraway tell us he has “Unaffected scorn” for him while on the other hand he is “gorgeous”.
We consider Nicks opinions to be very accurate as he is a fair and sensitive person who is also the probably the only person that really knew Gatsby. Gatsby is the stories protagonist when we first meet him he is very mysterious and “God Like” which adds to his sense of greatness. Nick says Gatsby has : “come out to determine what share of our local heavens . ” The first thing we see Gatsby doing is reaching for a green light. This green light represents his dream. A dream he is striving to achieve. When considering Gatsby’s Greatness, we must remember always that this is the 1920’s the “Jazz Age”.
And Gatsby was a young successful man with lots of money. Not only is this the ideal of the American dream, but he also through gigantic parties every Saturday in his gothic mansion, where all the rich and famous would gather. He was a perfect representative of the “Jazz Age”. Gatsby has a very mysterious very hidden, Character. We first perceive him to be considered great because of him being the idol of the jazz age. However as we begin to learn about his corruption, and the way by which he came by this money, we begin to loose this image of greatness. Even Nick swings form admiration to resentment.
When Gatsby tells Nick about all his great travels and accomplishments around Europe traveling like royalty and studying at oxford. This Makes Gatsby a hero, however Nick doesn’t believe him, until Montenegro is mentioned, and the same applies to us. This is the point when our faith in Gatsby’s greatness, is reaffirmed. As the book progress and we dig deeper into Gatsby’s past. We begin learning more and more about his life built upon deception, we really start to suspect the rumors of his under ground involvement in crime, specially after meeting Meyer Wolfsheim.
It is my personal opinion that Wolfsheim, was in fact a Jew, due to his characteristics, “a large nose” “a diminutive stature”. It is an important point to note, due to the fact that during the 1920’s, The Jews were blamed for Americas corruption, due to there infamous greed at that time. So when Gatsby is seen doing business with people like Wolfsheim, it slanders his name and he, is no longer the American dream, on the contrary, he is now, one of the people that corrupted America . We begin to learn his true identity is not Jay Gatsby, but that he is relay a man named James Gatz.
As the story progresses we begin to realize, that Gatsby has limitless amount of love for daisy, it could be said that he worships her. We begin to realize that every thing that Gatsby has done was all for daisy. All the parties were for daisy, when daisy was his, he stopped making parties and fired the staff. Now this to us seems very pathetic. However we must realize, that this dream of his, to not only get daisy, but to erase all her history for the last 5 years, is beautiful. It is beautiful in the sense that we know and the whole world knows it is impossible.
Even if he does get Daisy, her history with Tom will never be erased, her child will not simply disappear. However to Gatsby all this, seems trivial. He wants daisy to have always loved only him. Apart from taking into account, that maybe no woman will ever be able to live up to Gatsby’s perfect dream, his great flaw is that he cannot see Daisy for her faults and corrupt nature, to him daisy is perfect. Gatsby must realize that daisy loves money, but this insignificant, to his dream, on the contrary he makes a lot of money, for the sole purpose of exploiting this flaw of hers, and getting Daisy to come to him.
In conclusion no I do not think Jay Gatsby is a great man, despite his social statues and wealth. However James Gatz most definitely deserves the title “The Great”, it is his never dying dream that is the absolute essence of purity, that makes him worthy of this title. No matter what happened, he fully believed in his dream, eve till the last second before he died. James Gatz justifies all his actions threw his belief in this dream, and shows us some thing beautiful in an age full of materialism.