Nature of Man- Great Gatsby Essay

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Today, we would define ‘man’ as representing the human race. What is human nature? Human nature refers to the patterns of behavior typical to that of mankind. Every man has both good and evil in him. Sometimes the good may take control or sometimes the evil can get the best of a person. One usually has many traits that make one a man, things like being respectful, loving, and selfish are among the many things that it is in man’s nature to be. Selfishness is defined merely as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others” (Merriam Webster). Most people assume that selfishness is both wrong and unhealthy. A selfish person tends to put one’s own needs before the needs of others. The needs of one are just as important as the needs of others. One has to be able to draw a line between being too selfish and just trying to have a better life. Being selfish requires caring only about what one wants and not what the rest of society strives for as a whole. In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is evident through the characters that it is in man’s nature to be selfish through the act of cruelty, greed, and manipulating others to achieve a goal.

It is in man’s nature to be selfish; this is shown through the act of cruelty. Cruelty is shown in the novel when Nick is speaking about Tom’s behaviour. “Two shining arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward … It was a body capable of enormous leverage — a cruel body” (Fitzgerald, 9). This quote shows how Tom Buchanan has changed over time. When Nick knew Tom in college years he was very friendly and wonderful to be around. Nick now realizes that Tom’s characteristics have changed from nice and friendly to cruel and abusive. Tom’s character represents the selfishness, arrogance, and cleverness in people of society. Another example of Tom’s cruelty is also through being abusive. Although Tom is not physically abusive, he definitely causes Daisy some emotional abuse. Tom mistreats and uses Daisy, carrying on another relationship without caring how Daisy feels. Tom does what he needs to get what he wants, thus proving he is a selfish and cruel man. Cruelty is also evident in many works of life, even years ago. Adolf Hitler is the world’s number one cruelest person, caring only about his country and their desires. “It’s clear why the Nazi leader is number one … He had intention to create a new order where Nazi Germans would be dominant, so he built a lot of gas chambers where he killed somewhere between 11 and 14 million people, mostly Jews” (10 Cruelest Leaders Ever). Hitler is only one of the many world leaders who show cruelty. Hitler was cruel to Jews and exterminated them. He had set up gas chambers and concentration camps where Jews were put to work and ultimately died. Hitler, once in power of Germany, was very anti-Semitic meaning he had a deep hatred for Jews. Those who were put in the gas chambers were manipulated to think they were just taking showers, but all it took for death was 15 minutes in a chamber full of the deadly Zyklon-B gas. Hitler was a leader who just wanted power for his country and did not even worry about the surrounding world. He was a very selfish and cruel man in that manner. Hitler killed millions of people, Jews who disobeyed his orders were immediately sent to death, and those who did obey him were killed at a later time. This shows how unfair and concerning life can be and that one will always encounter rude, self-centered selfish people. In addition, being selfish is among many of the things it is in man’s nature to be, which can be proven through greed. Tom and Daisy are just two of the many characters in the novel who show greed, relying on their money for everything they do. "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then...
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