There are two types of people; those who live in the past, and those who live in the present. The Great Gatsby reflects on both of these types of people, and also on the consequences of living in such manner. It is F. Scott Fitzgerlads’ aspiration to make known the importance of living in the present.
Jay Gatsby is one whose past is their present. Gatsby continuously lives in his past because he believes it was the essence of perfection and that nothing could ever be better; “...However glorious might be his future...he was at present a penniless young man without a past...” (156 Fitzgerald). He is therefore a man of continuous regression. Throughout the book, Gatsby had always had a depressed, or saddened, demeanor, only to be associated with the fact of his constant dwelling of the past. One might associate this disposition with the thought that; although Gatsby is living in the past because he believes it to be better than the present, this in turn disheartens him because he knows he can never fully live in the past. However, towards the end of the book “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us…”; at this point in time, Gatsby finally begins to recognize the significant irrationality of dwelling on the past.
Throughout the book, Nick Carraway, has always been the character of stability. Unlike Gatsby, Daisy and Tom, Nick does not regularly dwell on the past. He is a man of present mind; he believes in making the most from what he is given; his personality demonstrated his belief of living in the present. His level headedness and constant persistence was a huge support that Gatsby heavily relied on. It was hinted throughout the text that Nick is a man of thought and words, however “after Gatsbys death the East was haunted for [him] like that, distorted beyond [his] eyes’ power of correction”. After Gatsbys’ death, Nick begins to regress on the past. He becomes deeper and deeper absorbed in...
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