March 14, 2011
The Great Gatsby: Final Essay Prompt II
Every man wants to be considered great in the eyes of his peers, but it is important to remember what greatness truly means. There are thousands of ways to define the word “great,” but I have my own definition of the word. A great man is selfless, honest, and trustworthy. He is sincere, has strong values, and he does things for the benefit of others. Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s main character in the novel The Great Gatsby, is a charismatic man who throws elaborate parties for the wealthy people of Long Island. To those around him, Gatsby appears to be a great man, however, the reader can see through this façade and understands that he is not as great as he appears. Because he is stubbornly narrow-minded, selfishly uses people for his benefit, and seeks to destroy a family, Jay Gatsby is not a great man by any means.
Jay Gatsby is stubbornly narrow-minded, and refuses to accept the reality that he cannot be with Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby is unable to let go of the few moments he shared with Daisy years ago, before he was shipped off to Europe to fight in the Great War. While he is away, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan, yet Gatsby still tries to win her hand. Instead of moving away from Daisy and starting a new life, Gatsby moves across the bay from her and insists he will meet her again. At one of Gatsby’s parties, Nick urges Gatsby not to ask too much from Daisy. Nick realizes that Daisy has moved on with her life and reminds Gatsby that he cannot repeat the past. Gatsby replies in shock saying “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can” (110)! Gatsby, who has everything luxury imaginable, refuses to believe that he cannot relive his past with Daisy. A great man would get around such an obstacle in life, and would find another way to fulfill his heart’s desire. Because Gatsby put all of his “eggs in one basket,” he was left with nothing when his only love...