January 30, 2013
Reading Literature 121E
The Green Light vs. The Green Life
“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us…” (180) James Gatz, the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, believes in the past and fantasy; these beliefs result in his death, making him a tragic hero. To resolve his internal conflicts, he constructs a new lifestyle with a new identity, a new look, and a new wallet, big enough to hold his bootlegged earnings; all for a girl he lost in the past, Daisy Buchanan.
Although at first glance Gatsby might not seem to be the everyday man, in reality he actually is. At age 17, he became a new person; Jay Gatsby took over James Gatz to rename and recreate his being and stayed permanently this way, staying static throughout the novel. Gatsby, for short, was the quintessential self-made man and also very fake. The character called James Gatz changed his name to Jay Gatsby in order to make himself the perfect persona for the woman he loved. When he changed his name, he transformed from being an ordinary person into this almost super-human bundle of optimism and hope who strives for perfection in everything. Although, because of this he started to believe his own lies and couldn't envision a way that Daisy would be able to reject him. Closer to the end of the novel, after Daisy kills Myrtle in car accident, you learn that Gatsby will take the blame for Myrtle’s death. Although this is a show of love for Daisy, it is eventually what leads him to his physical downfall.
Beside the broken structure of Jay Gatsby, he was the kind of man who everyone was intrigued by; his charm and his mysterious vibe reeled others in. This was a strength Gatsby contained. By his quick disappearances, charm, the time period and ability to believe in “the green light”, the reader can conclude there is an allusion to the great Harry Houdini. They were both committed to money...
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