Obtaining the Unattainable
As Azar Nafisi once said, “The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and the dream.” The protagonist of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby spent his lifetime following the American Dream in the hopes of winning his one true love and this led to his untimely downfall. Over the years, Aristotle’s definition of tragedy has been modified b every great writer in their generation and Fitzgerald is no different. Fitzgerald’s difference of tragedy with Aristotle is that the tragic hero is not of noble status and greatness. Gatsby is not of royal greatness but fulfills all the other criteria of a tragic hero. Like everything else, the typical tragic hero has evolved greatly since its beginning days and Fitzgerald has made a large contribution to its evolution with his tragedy, The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby is considered a modern day tragic hero because he fulfills all of the expectations a tragic hero in today’s day and age has. The first expectation that Gatsby fulfills to be a modern day tragic hero is that he has a Hamartia. His Hamartia is his obsession over having Daisy to himself.He considers her as the last thing in life that he needs in order to have perfection. She is the only unrealistic dream that he chases and in the end, dies because of her, which is symbolic of her devastating impact on his life. Everything he does in life is geared towards his goal of having Daisy’s love. A quote to show when Nick realizes Gatsby’s Hamartia is, “Then it had merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor” (Fitzgerald 79). Nick realizes all of Gatsby’s parties and everything Gatsby does is to reach his ideal, Daisy. This flaw of Gatsby's is what indirectly leads to his horrific death. Something else that happens to Gatsby which makes him a tragic hero is Hubris. Ever since the...
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