Isolation in the Great Gatsby

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Hundreds of people are gathered around dancing, drinking, and having a good time. People are causally talking and laughing. Men and women from all around are having the “time of their life.” However, the lifestyle of the city, money, and connections don’t always create fulfilled, happy lives. For Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway, and Jay Gatsby, they are never alone but always isolated.

Daisy Buchanan uses her need for attention and people to adore her most likely to cover up her fear of isolation. From the beginning Daisy has virtually been alone. Her husband Tom was not even there for the birth of their only daughter. “Well, she was less than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether with an utterly abandoned feeling...” (21). She was very isolated from Tom at that point of time in their marriage. This stems her fear of being alone leads to the suspicion of Tom and Myrtle’s affair. She doesn’t have the strength to step away from Tom’s money or her fear and confront him though. She uses attention to cope with his affair. For example, she kisses Gatsby in her own husband’s house. She needs to know that someone will give and receive her attention. She lets her fear of isolation run her life. Nick Carraway is the one of the most isolated characters in The Great Gatsby. He once said that, “At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness ... sometimes (61-62).” Through this quote Nick expresses his overwhelming loneliness of city life. He is originally from the Midwest and doesn’t know many people in West or East Egg. He feels alone in the “crowd” especially at Gatsby’s famous parties when “introductions (are) forgotten on the spot” (44) and enthusiastic meeting occur between people who don’t even know each other’s names. Nick also feels alone when he realizes he had turned thirty already. He fears growing old because he sees isolation within old age. He sees the people around him and notices that no one is truly happy...
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