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The Great Gatsby Essay

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In famous novels throughout literature, characters often face conflicts between not themselves and other characters, but with time itself. In John Green's novel Looking For Alaska, the main characters confront the idea of "imagining the future as a kind of nostalgia". In this way, the main character Miles Halter, after the death of his friend Alaska, dreams of a future where he and Alaska are somehow reunited. However, the Alaska of his dreams is not as she presently exists, because she is no longer living. She is not even the Alaska that once existed, she is only Miles's own fantasy based on girl that he loves who was a part of his past. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby experiences the same type of longing for a return to his past in the future. In the pursuit of his dream, Gatsby faces reality as that which counterbalances his strong idealism as Nick Carraway observes it. In the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby's failure to ultimately realize his dream is due to his belief in returning to his romantic past as an idealized conception of the future.
The idealism of Gatsby that Nick admires is both what makes Gatsby an admirable character and what allows him to chase his dream. Nick explains, as the novel begins, the reasons for his admiration of Gatsby. However, his most striking statement was that Gatsby possessed an "extra ordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person..." (2). This "romantic readiness" of Gatsby's that Nick can see is both Gatsby's best quality and what motivates him in the pursuit of the impossible- his dream of being with Daisy. On the same note, Lathbury states, "Nick tells the reader that Gatsby's idealism makes him 'turn out all right in ...


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...2009): 8+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2013. Print.
Lathbury, Roger. Literary Masterpieces. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Print.
Magill, Frank N. "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Vol. 3. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem, 1983. 953-67. Print.
Magill, Frank N. "The Great Gatsby." Magill's Survey of American Literature. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1991. Print.
O'Donnell, Patrick. "Short-Changed: Thomas Berger's Changing the Past." Critical Essays on Thomas Berger. Ed. David W. Madden. New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1995. 138-148. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 259. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 7 Feb. 2014
Stallman, R. W. "Gatsby And The Hole in Time." Gatsby. By Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1991. 55-64. Print.



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