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Essay on The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The novel, The Great Gatsby, is set in New York during the 1920’s after World War One. The Great Gatsby is not only about the corruption of the American dream- but also the corruption of the entire 1920’s era, hidden behind the tragic love story of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. In The Great Gatsby, the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, denotes Jay Gatsby’s obsession with being old rich, Daisy Buchanan, and the past- which ultimately leads to failure.
Jay Gatsby’s obsession with being old rich comes not only from his desire to move from his poor lifestyle, but also from his desire for Daisy’s love. From an early age, he wanted something better. Gatsby’s father says to Nick, “… Do you notice what he’s got about improving his mind? He was always great for that …” (Fitzgerald 182). His obsession with being old rich started at a young age. He wants every aspect of an old rich lifestyle, especially after he meets Daisy Buchanan. Jay Gatsby has wanted to be old rich even before he met Daisy. He did not accept the lifestyle he had as a child, and so he decided to pursue the old rich lifestyle he desired by any means necessary. He began to
use a schedule he created for himself to reach his goal. “… Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it [from] 5.00-6.00 … Read one improving book or magazine per week…” (Fitzgerald 181-182). His obsession with old rich also stemmed from his opinion on how he was raised. He changed his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby in order to hide his old life in a new, rich, and mannerly lifestyle. Gatsby started working for Dan Cody when he “… turned up as James Gatz‘s destiny in Little Girl Bay“ (Fitzgerald 106). He saw Dan Cody’s lifestyle and how he became old rich and decided to do the same. Nick Callawa...


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...merican history. With Gatsby’s obsession with being old rich, Daisy Buchanan, and the past; and despite his genuine efforts, the only thing he ends up with is a bullet in his back, and failure to obtain the title of old rich and, more importantly, Daisy Buchanan.




Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. Print.
Maurer, Kate. Cliffsnotes on The Great Gatsby. Cliffsnotes.com. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Person Jr., Leland S. “Herstory and Daisy Buchanan.” American Literature 50.2 (1978): 250. Academic Search Premiere. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
Sparknotes Editors. “Sparknotes on The Great Gatsby.” Sparknotes.com. Sparknotes LLC. 2002. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
Tredell, Nicolas, ed. “Columbia Critical Guides: F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby.” New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Print.



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