Resentment is an emotion that carries the heavy weight of a past that cannot be recreated. It leads to anger, bitterness, and destruction of healthy relationships. Living in the past leads to resenting life and limits the current potential of an individual. Tom places immense value in his past achievements and wishes to relive the peak of his success, causing him to resent his life. He carries himself with importance and he has a huge sense of pride for his upbringing, however, his insecurities are immediately visible to Nick, who describes him as “… one of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anticlimax” (6). It is evident that Tom feels displacement and resentment within his life because of his great past. In a way, he blames himself, his life, and all of his relationships for hindering his rise to further greatness. He lives his life free of commitments and “…forever seeking, a little wistfull...
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...iduals from making the same mistakes, however, living in the past creates limitations to succeeding in the future. In The Great Gatsby, the negative repercussions of clinging onto the past are identified as resentment, dissatisfaction, and misjudgements. More often than not, unrealistic expectations for relationships, people, and the future will lead to expectations being let down thus, leading to unhappiness, loss of identity, and limitations of personal growth. In order for an individual to thrive, they must continue to rebuild themselves and let go of the past, however, that is simply unrealistic. The past can be binding, manifesting itself in every aspect of the present and the future. It can hold back happiness and growth. Thus, if the past can limit every aspect of individuality, what is the true meaning of freedom? Can anyone truly be free of any constraints?
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