The Great Gatsby Tragic Hero

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The Great Gatsby- Tragic Hero
It is believed by some that potential and greatness is innate for every individual born, yet it takes time for it to be discovered. For certain individuals, this greatness is interchangeable with heroism, which is the basis of every great story. In the novel The Great Gatsby written by Scott Fitzgerald, a man by the name of Jay Gatsby was no less than the greatness which accompanied his name. He was a noble man with an outstanding persona that left a deep mark after his passing. An exceptional being with infinite potential, who dreamt of nothing but personal success and whose very own ambitious trait worked to his disadvantage. Gatsby destroyed himself with the strength of his own hands and his existence touched the lives of others with much significance. Without a doubt, Gatsby successfully possessed all the qualities of a tragic hero and as with every tragic hero, Gatsby had no choice but to come across an inevitable end; death.

It is not ordinary people whose name is chanted as much as the chorus of a song, which is why Gatsby had always been the talk of town. Prior to Gatsby’s introduction in the novel, he was only a man spoken of whose name floated through the mischievous air of the nineteen-twenty’s era. The roaring twenties was a time of frolic and socialization, yet the only thing one could hear of Gatsby were rumours. The narrator of the novel, Nick Carraway, was asked by several curious party-goers and friends about Gatsby, once even by a complete stranger by the name of Catherine who claimed she attended a party of his, “At a man named Gatsby’s. Do you know him?” (32) Though Gatsby was Nick’s neighbour, Nick knew nothing of Gatsby despite the power of his enigmatic presence at random times of the evening when Gatsby was “standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars” (20). On the contrary, much more blind assumptions were made regarding Gatsby that “he killed a man once” and that “he was a German spy during the war” (44). The curiosity surrounding Gatsby’s name became apparent, showing how important of an individual he truly was, to the extent that people spoke of him as often as they attended his lavish parties.

Not all people are privileged to have inheritance of vast power and the endless fruits of wealth, and they must strive for any sort of accomplishment. Jay Gatsby, who was known as James Gatz in his younger years, was looked upon with admiration and his exceptionality was alluring. Gatz was not a part of a great legacy; he lived a life with nothing short of difficulty and obstacles. It was described: “For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food or bed” (98). Gatz was not a true Oxford man, nor did he come from old money or a wealthy family, but his struggle against poverty was what made him exceptional. His living conditions did not discourage him; instead it sparked the desire and pursuit of personal success. Young Gatz showed great potential with the creation of his daily schedules which was divided into his well organized routine and ‘general resolves’ (173). This structured schedule proved his potential for greatness because he had predetermined the recipe for success, which was constant self-improvement. They are not shallow but only realistic, even so that when he had written “save $5.00” it was crossed out to “$3.00 per week” (173). Gatz knew the limit of his capabilities and had a strong sense of self. The authenticity of his general resolves was magnificent because his ideals of success were very spiritual and pure. It took exceptionality for such a young man to predetermine his own future of humble success. It is more important to note that James Gatz did not only desire personal success, through prominence and determination he achieved it as well. He proved that anything is possible if one sets their mind...
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