The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald opens The Great Gatsby with an epigraph, consisting of a poem, ostensibly written by Thomas Parke D’Invilliers. D’Invillier, a fictional character created by Fitzgerald, describes the advice given to a man to woo his woman of interests with materialistic things. This epigraph directly parallels the courtship of Gatsby and Daisy, as he uses his wealth to cultivate the past love, which was once at the core of their relationship. The use of the epigraph serves as an illusory element of The Great Gatsby, drawing attention to the employment of wealth used in attempts to rekindle the lost love between Gatsby and Daisy, ultimately resulting in the reader empathizing with Gatsby. Gatsby strives to wear the “gold hat,” a color associated with abundance and success to gain the affection of Daisy, who is a vanity worshipper (D’Invillier). Aware of Daisy’s “excite[ment]” for materialistic possessions, Gatsby throws “gleaming, dazzling parties,” for five years straight in hopes of her appearance (Fitzgerald 67,114). Strategically wearing the “gold hat,” upon reunion with Daisy, Gatsby shows Daisy his “enormous,” “well looking” house (Fitzgerald 93). The house, conveniently located across the bay facing Daisy’s house, is laced with expensive, cherished decor that Gatsby revalued “according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes” (Fitzgerald, 59). Wholly absorbed by Daisy and her interest in his regal home, it is evident Gatsby solely values materials on it’s ability to “move” Daisy closer to him (D’Invillier). Similar, to the tour of his house, Gatsby’s display of his “beautiful shirts,” were intentional to romance her (Fitzgerald 59). Gatsby’s wealth, proving to be overwhelming as Daisy cries for “n... ... middle of paper ... ... was never fulfilled. Gatsby’s use of wealth attracted Daisy, however, proved to be a weak force when compared to the force of the social structure, and old wealth that is nature to the East Egg. While the male lover in the epigraph reigns champion with the gold hat, Gatsby will always be silver to Daisy, as his social class can never compete with Tom. “There are things between Daisy and [him]” that Gatsby will never know, such as how it is to be birthed into the respected upper-class (Fitzgerald 114). Perhaps the male lover in the epigraph succeeds because he wears the “gold hat” and “bounces high,” while Gatsby only successfully achieves one of the requirements. Gatsby’s lack of success causes the reader to sympathize with him, as his dreams of Daisy are never fulfilled. Works Cited Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.

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