The "Great" Jay Gatsby

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The “Great” Jay Gatsby
The word great has many meanings – outstanding, eminent, grand, important, extraordinary, noble, etc. - and varies along with the intent of the speaker and on the interpretation of the hearer. Someone may perceive something as great, and yet someone else may see that same thing as horrendous. The greatness of a being is not determined by themselves, but by those around them who experience, and perceive, their greatness through actions and words. In the book, “The Great Gatsby”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is the narrator, Nick, who judges Gatsby as a great person with a “gorgeous” personality. It is his way of perceiving Gatsby that leads us to also find him “great”. Gatsby, through his actions, his dreams and his heart distinguishes himself from the “foul dust” and makes himself “worth the whole damn bunch put together”. An interpretation for the title and the “great” in the title would be that it is a way of announcing Gatsby; the way one would announce a magician or a circus person: “The Great Houdini”, “The Great Blackstone”. A magician can create illusions, thus appearances are not always reality or what they seem to be. Gatsby manages to create an illusion for he manages to appear to belong to a higher class than he really does. He manages to fool “the spectators” around him by throwing extravagant parties that give off a sense of great wealth and stature. The person of Jay Gatsby itself is a masterful illusion.

Gatsby is a man shrouded in a cloud of mystery. He has a large amount of money and some people speculate as to how he got it. There are also quite a few rumours going around about him, someone even says that he looks like he killed a person. He is considered to throw some of the best parties around, and everyone who is someone must be seen at one of Gatsby’s parties. He never reveals anything about himself to people; however, he does reveal his true nature to Nick, who explains Gatsby to us. One of the things that...
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