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F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gatsby Essay

“It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.”( F.Scott Fitzgerald 104) – Nick talks about how he looks at life with a new perspective and tries to abandoned “the West Egg” concept of “a world complete in itself, with its own standards its own great figures”. When he look at daisy, he explains that he could feel daisy’s pain and suffering by just looking into her eyes. So the significance of this quote is that nick is looking beyond the gilts and glamour of society so that he may see the true identity of people- as with Daisy. Later on, Nick will use this skill to find the true answer of whom Gatsby is .

“The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”(F.Scott Fitzgerald 98)

-Nick describes Gatsby’s early life using a comparison between Gatsby and Jesus to reveal Gatsby’s identity. In the Great Gatsby, Gatsby transforms himself into the ideal that he envisioned for himself a Platonic conception of himself as a youngster and remains committed to that ideal, despite the obstacles that society presents to the fulfillment of his dream.

He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. (F.Scott Fitzgerald 109)

-Gatsby is frustrated at daisy for being a cowardly woman who doesn’t stand up for her. He believes its time for her to take action but Gatsby also realizes that it’s impractical. Gatsby would like to put everything back how it was in the past, but Daisy has moved on from the past into the present.

“His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”(F.Scott Fitzgerald111)

-Gatsby opens up to Nick and tell a memorable event between Gatsby and Daisy. This is one of the times were he actually gives information about his past that is true and Nick is surprised and hears Gatsby through. Gatsby longs for the past and revisions the event where he and daisy first kissed. Gatsby fantasies about the past, believing that Daisy is the same girl he kissed many years ago.

“But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing.”(Scott Fitzgerald 99)

– Gatsby is a man who seems to “have it all” but in reality is troubled by one-sided love. The one thing he doesn’t have is what he needs most to fulfill him is Daisy. At night, these thoughts both torment and comfort him. The beauty of this passage is Fitzgerald’s use of both negative and positive imagery to illustrate the conflict in Gatsby’s thoughts. The imagery of the rock and fairy’s wing just elaborates Gatsby’s view of his world is crumbling apart; something like a rock is a strong foundation has flew away so easily like a fairy. Very much like the difference between Gatsby’s real world and what he wishes for himself.

Chapter 7

“Her voice is full of money,” he said suddenly.
That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it … high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. (Scott Fitzgerald 120)

– Gatsby is shocked and confused why Daisy is all about money. He doesn’t even wonder why she married Tom. So Fitzgerald adds in dialogues as a hint to fill in the missing gaps and to show Gatsby who Daisy was and is. Tom allows Daisy to ride with Gatsby because he knows she wont choose Gatsby over him. Gatsby can’t let go of the Daisy, not because of the relationship now but what they had; back in the past were he was a poor kid in the army who got this beautiful rich girl to fall in love with him.

“There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind, and as we drove away Tom was feeling the hot whips of panic. His wife and his mistress, until an hour ago secure and inviolate, were slipping precipitately from his control.”(Scott Fitzgerald 125)

– This quote reveals that Tom is getting frustrated and shocked because of the accident. He feels as though he is losing control over both women, Daisy and Myrtle. You could see the signs of tension between Gatsby and Tom when they get into a verbal argument of some sort. Tom needs control and when he doubts his control, over a situation or another person, he cant handle it.

“With every word she was drawing further and further into herself, so he gave that up, and only the dead dream fought on as the afternoon slipped away, trying to touch what was no longer tangible, struggling unhappily, despairingly, toward that lost voice across the room.”(Scott Fitzgerald 134)

-As she spoke, he became more and more aware that Daisy would never be his. The dream that he once had of them being together slipped away. He was becoming forced to realize the truth even though he somehow wished it was different.

“So we drove on toward death in the cooling twilight….” Nick: ‘“Was Daisy driving?”’
Gatsby: ‘“Yes, but of course I’ll say I was.”’ (Scott Fitzgerald 137-143).
– Fitzgerald placed the first quote as a foreshadowing of Myrtle’s death. I don’t understand why Gatsby and the other characters mourn for Myrtle, they act if it was just a normal day by day event. It’s interesting how Gatsby spoke as if Daisy’s reaction was the only thing that mattered.

“He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil. So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight — watching over nothing.”(Scott Fitzgerald 145)

-Before the trip into the city and the accident, Gatsby was convinced that Daisy was in love with him and would without a doubt leave Tom for him. When he watches Daisy and Tom in the kitchen, the reality of the situation is starting to hit him. Ever since he and Daisy fell apart when she married Tom, he has entirely devoted his life to getting wealth to impress Daisy and win her back. He has devoted his whole life and heart to this woman, and so as he watches her slipping away from him again, he knows nothing more than to return to his vigil over the woman that has controlled his life.


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