‘It is not enough to make progress; we must make it in the right direction. ’ How important is it to apply this saying our lives? Well, is very important. What is that makes us human beings and not animals? Is it where we come from and what we have or self-control of our wants and needs? To what extent are we ready to go to gain power that we no longer remember who we are! Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby will be able to answer these questions to us.
Jay Gatsby, a year or two over thirty, was a mysterious persona. He lived in West Egg, Long Island and was greatly known in the locality for his lavish parties that housed both the invited as well as the uninvited. With extravagant cuisine, rich fresh fruits from New York, Vladimir Tostoff’s Jazz and his Rolls Royce moving to and fro picking up guests, Jay Gatsby threw big parties. He used the phrase ‘old sport’ very often while addressing everybody.
His picking of words with care only showed some fishiness regarding his identity. By calling himself an Oxford Educated and wealthy person without any family, he camouflaged his true identity and was a liar. Jay Gatsby, was truly James Gatz a nobody from North Dakota whose parents were unsuccessful farm people. Gatsby’s humiliation of being poor and a man without any class increased his hunger for power and he didn’t care how he got it. “Contemporary legends such as the “underground pipe-line to Canada. attached themselves to him, and there was one persistent story that he didn’t live in a house at all, but in a boat that looked like a house and was moved secretly up and down the Long Island shore” (Fitzgerald) only establishes the fact that his business was unethical and notorious. He was a bootlegger and had various links to people like Wolfsheim. His current attitude and outlook that showed off his wealth and dignity was certainly not inherited as he worked as a janitor and was a drop out from St. Olaf’s college in Minnesota.
Unhappy about his poverty and class, “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. ” (Fitzgerald) His belief that money and power could accomplish anything and change the past, only portrays his blatant attitude that led to conceal his true identity and he thus showed off his wealth through his parties despite that fact that it mostly invited fake people. Madly in love with Daisy, a beautiful woman who was married to the Tom Buchanan, Gatsby hoped to win her back and thus kept throwing those wonderfully big parties.
His world and life revolved around the dream of winning back his love Daisy. “Gatsby buys his West Egg mansion with the sole intention of being across the bay from Daisy Buchanan’s green light at the end of her dock, a fantasy which becomes Gatsby’s personal version of the American Dream” (Novel Analysis). Having his emotions bottled up for Daisy for so many years, it became a burning passion in his heart, made him very obsessive. He used richness and wealth to lure her back to him.
His love for Daisy had blinded him to the fact that she had left him for a man with solid position, wealth and prosperity which was another reason in his life to become rich. He idolized her and he felt married to her and wanted her back at any cost even though she killed Myrtle-Tom’s lover while driving Gatsby’s car. Having lived the life the way he want and working towards achieving his goal and dream, Jay Gatsby is that legend with whom we can relate ourselves. We all have wants and desires. But his desire for Daisy only led to his downfall.
Misguided by his belief and seeking vengeance for Myrtle’s murder, Myrtle’s husband George killed Gatsby in his own pool thinking that it was Gatsby who murdered his Myrtle which in reality was Daisy! A funeral with only few friends and his father Henry Gatz and none of the fake people who attended his parties, nor Daisy for whom he was killed, Jay Gatsby’s life only portrays that it is not money that maketh man, it is his values and ideals. It is not what we want, but why we want something and a constant check on the direction we are going makes us who we are!