A Hero or a Fool

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Hailey Inge
Mrs. Tinquist
English II H
12/4/12
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It is often an authors perception of a novel that he is creating that shapes the main character of a literary work. The title of a book is the way he focuses all readers in to what is truly important. Like most other authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald uses a title, The Great Gatsby, to represent that some object, Gatsby, is great. You don’t find out until you begin to read this novel that Mr. Jay Gatsby, a poor man from North Dakota, is the one who considers himself “great”. Although the reader and Gatsby could argue on most morals, Gatsby is a tragic hero, only to be brought to demise by the people he considers his friends. All of the flaws along the way that affect his downfall just cause Gatsby’s fortune to reverse. Amongst everything that would have ever taken place in his life, he causes the reader to feel pity for him in the end. This western man realizes his dream, and strives to achieve it, and is willing to hurt anyone or anything in his path.

Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, believes that a tragic hero is a noble man that has a quality that most others don’t have. Hamartia is the tragic flaw that at some point, leads to the down fall of the protagonist. Jay Gatsby’s tragic flaw is one that encompasses his whole life. Gatsby had extreme animosity towards the lifestyle he lived before moving to West Egg. He just couldn’t handle being poor, or having to work for his money. When Gatsby enlisted in the army and was sent to Louisville, he met Daisy Buchanan, a rich girl, he instantly fell in love with her and the extravagant lifestyle that she lived. At this point, Gatsby had to make up a story that made Daisy want him, or this relationship was never going to happen. Immediately after Gatsby told this “little white lie”, he was shipped off to the war, only to return and get word that Daisy had married another man, only making Gatsby want her even more.
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