The Pressure to Succeed: Gatsby’s Blindness in the Great Gatsby

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The pressure to succeed is a primal human trait. Whether, it is getting wealthy or having a love life, everyone wants to be successful. In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby struggled to be successful his whole life because he believes only success would bring him happiness. However, his attempts to be successful became the reason of Gatsby’s downfall.

Gatsby’s pressure to be successful started at a young age. Gatsby, whose real name is James Gatz, comes from a poor family in the Midwest so he yearns to be more educated and well-prepared for when he comes across wealth. His father, Henry Gatz, proudly carries around a schedule Gatsby made in his teen years. The schedule consists of tasks he must do each day and it is timed to the minute. There are also goals he wants to accomplish like “no more smokeing or chewing” or “be better to [his] parents” (Fitzgerald 181-182). This well organized young boy leads to a man who later on “[makes] a success” of his life (Fitzgerald 181). The reason is because he knows how it feels to be a poor person so that motivates him to be successful in his life. He believes that acquiring money will improve his life.

A series of events in Gatsby’s life leads him to the doorsteps of Daisy’s house, the woman of his dreams. Gatsby knows of women early in his life and he becomes “contemptuous of them” yet “his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot” (Fitzgerald 104-105). When Daisy is introduced into his life, everything changes and she captures his heart. However, Gatsby does not reveal his true identity to Daisy and leads her to believe that he’s in the same social class. While Gatsby is off at war, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan. Gatsby “[comes] back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding trip and Gatsby, “penniless” visits Daisy’s house with nothing but a broken heart (Fitzgerald 160). After visiting her home he realizes he must become affluent so that he may win Daisy back. Now, Gatsby needs to...
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