Great Gatsby Essay

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Ryan McCassieAP EnglishMs. McHugh 2/25/12
“The Great Gatsby” Essay

Although Nick Carraway, at times, has certain distinct attitudes towards Jay Gatsby, it becomes clear at the end of the novel that Carraway’s general attitude towards Gatsby is mixed, laden with ambiguity. Part of Nick feels sorry for Gatsby, and admires his “never-say-die” attitude. While the other side of Carraway, at certain points within the novel, disapproves of Gatsby’s position in terms of ethics, and how he tends to disregard the general code of manners. In addition, the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, employs various rhetorical devices to develop Carraway’s attitude towards Gatsby, including imagery and metaphors among others.

Nick ends up, as was the case through most of the story, with mixed feelings towards Gatsby, partly feeling sorry for him and partly admiring his never-say-die attitude and optimism. Nick certainly felt pity for Gatsby and the way his life played out. Nick had come to understand that Gatsby had never had any realistic chance to win back Daisy, that the deception of being the incredibly sophisticated and wealthy “easterner” was exactly that – a disguise, an act that Gatsby kept up to prevent those around him from discovering the truth. Daisy was the source of Gatsby’s motivation, and although he would never admit it, Gatsby was chasing something that wasn’t truly there. He was an empty man that had gradually lost a grasp on what he strived for. It is Gatsby’s gradual, almost helpless collapse that encourages Carraway to develop sympathy in light of the “Great” man’s compromising situation.

Most notably, F. Scott Fitzgerald exercises the use of colors to convey and develop various ideas and attitudes throughout the novel.
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