Who Is Jay Gatsby, and How Does He Contribute to the Theme of Moral Decay of the American Dream in the Novel of the Great Gatsby?

Topics: Social class, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald Pages: 2 (493 words) Published: May 22, 2013
Jay Gatsby, being the main character of the novel “The Great Gatsby”, is an important character in terms of how the theme of moral decay of the American Dream is being displayed. Jay Gatsby was not introduced with much information until later on throughout the novel. Gatsby doesn’t even speak until later on in Chapter 3, which is quite unusual since the story is based on him hence “The Great Gatsby”. Gatsby was a liar to everyone to try to achieve greatness, a thought inspired by the idea of the American dream. “because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition.” (p.53). In this quote Gatsby reacts to what he refers as ‘rumors’. He then tries to set it clear and insists that he went to Oxford University, and that it was his family’s tradition. This lie demonstrated how he was weak and just wanted to be considered like those who are higher class (old money). Gatsby is also a very vulnerable and weak character when it comes to Daisy’s safety and image especially when the car accident occurred. After Nick questioned Gatsby who was driving the car, Gatsby replied that Daisy was in fact driving it “but of course I’ll say I was.” (p.11)

Gatsby born quite poor without much money, but his ambitions were very strong “He knew he had a big future in front of him. And ever since he made a success he was very generous to me” (p. 172). This was said by his father not really knowing how his son made the money. He was blinded by the ideology behind the American dream, which made him believe his purpose in life is to be rich and win Daisy back. Daisy was more like an icon to Gatsby. “It excited him too that many men had already loved Daisy- it increased her value in his eyes.” (Chapter 8 (unable to find page number)). This quote demonstrates that he viewed her as icon of wealth, fame, everything a man would want to be associated with. He therefore believes that in order to win her back, he is going to have to be rich like her to be...
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