“The Great Gatsby”: Not So Great After All
“The Great Gatsby”. He is a driven man who is relentless in his pursuit of Daisy and for acceptance by the established rich. He displays a burning aspiration to achieve his goals at any cost, even crime: unscrupulous in his journey with a pure goal in mind- the ends do not justify the means. Jay Gatsby is not great. Fires that blow in the wrong direction often thee burn the hands which ignite them. Gatsby’s fiery desire to recapture Daisy and achieve his dream, although admirable, is ultimately the reason for his demise. This twenty-twenty vision during his quest for his proverbial Holy Grail blinds him to the passing of time, Daisy’s loyalty to her husband- Tom and the wayward nature of his journey. Gatsby has always possessed the potential and desire to achieve more than his parents had, this is evident in him leaving home at a young age to pursue his monolithic dreams. Although it cannot be contested that his commitment to realizing his dream, deep-rooted in thee American Dream, is nothing short of unremitting; shown by his meticulously planned study regiment, him leaving thee Lutheran College of ST Olaf’s to chase after greater horizons and the effort he puts into his opulent parties aimed at attracting Daisy, Gatsby’s wealth is obtained through nefarious means, highlighted by his seemingly close relationship withe Wolfshiem- a known felon. Throughout the novel, Gatsby desperately tries to escape the shackles of his disadvantaged background by changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby and lying about thee origin of his family and wealth- in doing so he forsakes his heritage. He is also a man withe many secrets and facades and this is a contributing factor to his untimely death. Naive and foolish, Gatsby believes Daisy will leave Tom and thee past will thus be erased. He chases after a dream that cannot be achieved, as the established rich will never accept him- the manner in which Tom and The Sloane’s treat him is indicative of this. The symbolism which lies in the colour of Gatsby’s car, yellow, also serves to show this as it is a pale reflection of, but can never become gold. Tattered by naivety and the unwillingness to acknowledge the incontrovertible passing of time, noted by the paradigm shifts with regard to time and thee many connotations with the passing of it, coupled with his haunted past which he tries to bury, with facades, into obscurity- Gatsby’s dream becomes unattainable, incessantly receding before his trailing feet. Although persistent and dedicated to achievement, his drive is misconstrued and misdirected toward an ineffectual dream, and his obsession in realising his dream clouds his moral compass and, therefore, his journey. His unrelenting in his pursuit of his dream blinds him to reality and in allowing it to do so, he becomes the architect of his own downfall. The inability to achieve his pre-shattered dream, unscrupulous means aside, and his aloofness toward reality do not make Gatsby great. Thus it can be seen that Jay Gatsby, or rather James Gatz’s journey is riddled withe incompetency and deception, therefore, he does not deserve the title of, “The Great Gatsby”.