Great Gatsby

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Gatsby Essay

Reserving Judgements is a Matter of Infinite Hope” pg. 6 F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

This quote is the fundamental axiom that the book revolves around. Nick’s father told this to him and he hasn’t forgotten the quote or the intrinsic moral significance that goes along with it. So much is spoken and gossiped about Jay Gatsby before he is even introduced in the novel that no one knows his true character, except for the fact he’s a rich man who throws wild parties in West Egg. In the novel, both social image and the perception of wealth play important parts in illustrating the internal class structure of West and East Egg. The fact the Gatsby is such an enigmatic character makes the audience wonder about the internal make-up of his personality, since most of his life Gatsby has been trying to escape his true image. In the case with Nick, the narrator, and Gatsby, as long as judgments are not made, Nick can be optimistic about Gatsby and their relationship and hope for the best, even if the best situation is not always reached. More generally, however, it advocates tolerance and understanding regardless of social status, or preconceived information.

Within the first chapter of the novel, there is already a contradiction and a questioning of Nick’s moral integrity as he regresses from his comment slightly. While he nobly and humbly mentions that he is tolerant and nonjudgmental, he also regards himself as morally privileged, having a greater sense of ‘decencies’ than other people. It makes sense that New York’s social dichotomy and the vast difference between the rich and the poor, the arrogant and the humble has given Nick a complete moral spectrum.

This quote not only symbolizes a creed that Nick lives by, but it also represents the ideal morality that unfortunately many of the frantic, materialistic, capitalistic easterners lack. Judgments and stereotypes and the declination of American values play a huge role in explaining the relationship with the two distinct sides of the neighborhood. The main distinction is between East Egg and the old rich people, who claimed their wealth through inheritance from ancestors who were among the richest people in the country, and the new rich people, like Gatsby, who obtained their wealth through entrepreneurial business that sometimes lacked integrity and morality. In addition to the difference in the assumption of wealth, the older rich people from East Egg tend to be more humble, graceful, and elegant with their riches, while the new rice West Eggers are ostentatious, and vulgar, as is characterized by Gatsby’s tasteless, wild drinking parties.
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