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Truly, The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper

Truly, The Great Gatsby

Usually, the title of a book gives the reader a brief foreshadowing on the book. What did Frances Scott Fitzgerald mean when he titled his book The Great Gatsby? On one level, Jay Gatsby seems great because of his immense wealth, but on another level, his greatness comes from his virtues and innocence, which preceded greed and pride.

Gatsby s virtues were clean and honest: make money to get Daisy. He did not cloud his virtues with greed, he just wished to impress Daisy. Gatsby thinks that he can go back to a time when Daisy loved him. “Can t repeat the past?….Why of course you can!”(pg.116) Daisy was roughly Gatsby s “green dream” at the end of the bay. “Gatsby believed in the green light….”(189) The green light represents the dream of Daisy five years before. Gatsby really wanted the old Daisy, and never realized that until much later.

Gatsby s everlasting devotion to Daisy shows his innocence. Just as a child might buy an apple for his first crush; Gatsby did everything for Daisy s appeasement. Gatsby held his grand parties not to show off his wealth, but in hope that one day Daisy would grace one of them. He bought clothes to show to her, and even died for her. “It makes me sad because I ve never seen such–such beautiful shirts before.”(pg.98) What made that gesture sweet was not because Gatsby displayed the beautiful shirts for Daisy, but because he bought the shirts just to show Daisy. His greatest deed for Daisy was taking the blame for Myrtle Wilson s death. “But of course I ll say I was.”(pg.150) That was the ultimate sacrifice. His concern for others, and selfless giving, made him great.

It was sad how Gatsby tried to bring back his fantasy from five years past, the arrogance of his purpose made him obtuse to the people around him. He gave asking nothing in return and allowed the party goers to take advantage of him. His fantasy blocked his good judgement, which failed to tell him that Daisy was so snobbish and egotistical. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . .”(pg.180) Gatsby continuously thought throughout the book that Daisy still loves him. Daisy does not love him because she has someone who cares as much for others as she does, Tom.

Gatsby s innocentness, and virtues helped his achieve wealth, but not Daisy. It was good that he was successful, but ironically these characteristics caused his death. “I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified.” (pg.180) His purity of heart and mind, through his innocence and virtues truly made him a Great man.


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