Is Jay Gatsby Tragic?

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The Tragic Jay Gatsby

Many characters in novels may be considered to be tragic. These characters are considered tragic because of one character trait they possess that leads to their eventual demise. Jay Gatsby is a tragic character in a unique way. That is, he has many negative traits, but only one of these traits leads to his eventual downfall. Of all the character traits that Jay Gatsby possessed, his excessiveness in everything he did was what led him to his ultimate downfall.

Jay Gatsby was excessive in every spectrum of his life. One example of his excessive lifestyle is his view of the "good life". Gatsby's parties were frequent, humongous, and extravagant. " Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiter in New York… every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulp less halves… By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived. No thin five piece affair, but a whole pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and violas and…" These examples are only a little slice of the essentials for a "Gatsby" party. All of this excessiveness is way beyond rational, and reason. Another example of his excessive parties is the fact that people would be so trashed that in one event, a couple guests are in a car accident and do not even realize it. After it happens, they just walk away looking for another drink. The simple fact is that if any serious injuries or accidents occurred during his parties, Gatsby would not have to worry about liability. His extreme wealth permitted him the option of purchasing a "get out of jail free" card. Gatsby's biggest concerns were about his guests having a good time. Gatsby is so rich that the penalties or fines that could be imposed for this behavior would not affect him in any way. This kind of wealth allows for the imagination to run wild and excessively spend time, and money in unimportant ways.

Gatsby did not only excessively spend his money on parties....
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