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A Conclusion to the Great Gatsby: Reaching into the Past

Autor:   •  January 14, 2018  •  1,753 Words (8 Pages)  •  286 Views

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Along with Nick’s description of his relationship with Gatsby, Fitzgerald also depicts Gatsby as a respectable man through Gatsby’s father. When Gatsby’s father arrives in New York for his son’s funeral, he is incredibly proud of his son’s accomplishments. However, Mr. Gatz judges his son based mainly upon his possessions, particularly his mansion. Although Mr. Gatz does not appreciate his son in the right way, it depicts how Gatsby has people who care about him. Due to this, Gatsby continues to receive sympathy from the audience because he becomes less of a mystical figure and more of a human being.

Finally, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby’s true work ethic when Mr. Gatz shares with Nick Gatsby’s copy of Hopalong Cassidy, which contains Gatsby’s schedule from when he was a boy. Included in this schedule are his “General Resolves” which include:

No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable]

No more smokeing or chewing

Bath every other day

Read one improving book or magazine per week

Save $5.00 [crossed out] $3.00 per week

Be better to parents (181-182).

This schedule adds to Gatsby’s character because it continues to depict him as a normal human being and a good man. Also, it continues to prove how he had high expectations for himself and worked diligently to improve himself. This helps Gatsby seem like a more honorable person because of his high standards. It also continues to make the reader feel sympathy towards him because the reader can relate to Gatsby’s high aspirations. However, when the book concludes, the reader can decide whether Gatsby is a dignified man or not.

Fitzgerald ends the story at a point where the reader can decide what kind of a life Jay Gatsby lived, whether they believe that he was a criminal who obsessed about his past or a good man who was forced to take desperate measures to achieve his goals. While Nick believes that Gatsby was truly a great man, there is enough evidence in the book to think otherwise. “Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once” (48). “It’s more that he was a German spy during the war” (48). Along with these rumors, people claimed that Gatsby was a bootlegger and earned his money in many other unethical ways. Also, Gatsby is associated with Meyer Wolfsheim, a professional gambler who fixed the 1919 World Series. To add to all of these negatives, Gatsby appears to be obsessed with his dream world and only cares about making it reality. Additionally, once he finds out that Daisy does not meet his incredibly high expectations, he continues to try to steal Daisy away from Tom even though Daisy will not leave her husband. Finally, Gatsby does not appear to be affected when Daisy hits and kills Myrtle Wilson in his car. Instead, he tries to take the blame for Daisy and maintains his feelings for her even though she just killed another human being. It seems that Gatsby is so in love with Daisy that it does not faze him that she is now a murderer. Due to Gatsby’s handling of this event, it could be concluded that he was in fact not a good man.

As bad as Gatsby’s situation was, Gatsby never gave up. He set out to relive his relationship with Daisy and wouldn’t stop until he achieved the goal. His dedication, while it didn’t necessarily pay off, is admirable. Although it is difficult to ignore Gatsby’s flaws, especially his decisions regarding Myrtle’s death, Gatsby was a good man. He took Nick under his wing and befriended him. Also, Gatsby was a man who remained true to his beliefs unlike the shallow upper class of the 1920’s. Even though Gatsby took pride in his possessions, he was not greedy. During his parties, he opened his house to the public and he never turned his back on Nick or Daisy despite her many shortcomings. Gatsby truly was great despite his many flaws.

Throughout the novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald develops a strong storyline with highly complex characters while critiquing the values of the Roaring Twenties. Fitzgerald perfectly concludes his work of art at the novel’s end. It is not a book where the reader will simply set it down after the last page and never think about it again. Upon finishing The Great Gatsby, the readers will have to decide for themselves what kind of a man the Great Gatsby truly was, thus proving the true value of Fitzgerald’s conclusion.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 1991 Print.


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