December, 17, 2012
The Lack of Justice and Karma in the Conclusion of The Great Gatsby and Society
Good people are not always rewarded, and people who commit felonies and do wrong are not always punished. Imagine a man who tries to be nice, honest, and friendly. One night police end up at your door and you are suddenly the suspect for your friends’ murder. This is sadly the case for James Driskell (Howe). In September of 1990 his friend, Perry Harder, was shot in the chest several times. A year later James was convicted to a lifetime in prison. The evidence the police had for the crime were 3 hairs on Harder’s chest that apparently belonged to Mr. Driskell. Later tests revealed that those 3 hairs did not belong to Mr. Driskell. A few years later he was released from prison (Howe). This man deserved no punishments, yet he has to go through his friends’ death and go to prison for a crime he never committed. The absence of justice and karma is clear. As J.R.R. Tolkien said “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life.” (J.R.R Tolkien, 77) In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, the absence of karma and justice is evident, and alters the punishments the characters should have faced. Jay Gatsby has pure intentions, and even though some things he did are considered wrong, his punishments are too severe and don’t fit the crime because he paid the ultimate consequence and was killed. George Wilson is a good person. He has been good all his life, yet he is punished severely with the death of his wife, and his own life. Tom has the worst personality and morals of any other character in the novel, yet he gets away with minimal consequences. Karma is an idea people thought of to encourage good behaviour, and live peacefully. In reality people have to enforce the law and give deserved punishments because karma is scarce in society and the conclusion to The Great Gatsby.
Sometimes good people do bad things. In the novel Jay Gatsby is a good person, who has pure intentions. Even though he does some bad things like illegally sell bootlegged alcohol to make his fortune, he is doing it to win back Daisy and not for evil means. Gatsby is pure at heart, even though he sold illegal alcohol in his stores he is still a good person. It is proven that Gatsby is pure at heart because he went and fought in the Great War, and won many valour medals. Before he left for the war he was in love with Daisy and vice versa. When he returned she had married Tom and all Gatsby ever wanted was her reciprocated love. Even though he earned his fortune through illegal means, it was for a pure cause. He just wanted Daisy back. Even though Gatsby did some bad things he was still a good person at the end because he wasn’t doing them for evil reasons, he was just trying to win Daisy back from Tom. Gatsby did not deserve the punishment he received. It was far too harsh a punishment and he paid the ultimate price, his life. Even though Gatsby was a man with pure intentions, he earned his fortune through bootlegging alcohol, which is illegal. When Tom confronts Gatsby about his bootlegging business Gatsby does not deny it. Tom discovered that Gatsby “bought up a lot of side-street drug stores... and sold grain alcohol over the counter” (Fitzgerald, 127). Gatsby’s business had been discovered, yet he never tried to defend himself and was calm throughout the whole ordeal. This is because Gatsby was selling illegal alcohol to win Daisy and not for another evil purpose. The same idea can be portrayed with putting a pet down. The owner of a pet will not feel guilty about putting their pet down, because it is to keep the pet from suffering. If the owner accidently kills or harms the pet they will feel terrible and guilty because they didn’t have good intentions. Gatsby may have deserved some form of punishment, but the punishment he received was too severe. He paid the ultimate price, his life. When Nick sees Gatsby...