The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

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The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby

Pathetic is a term used to describe someone who is pitifully

unsuccessful. Success is not necessarily measured in wealth or fame, but

it is measured by how much one has accomplished in life. A successful

person is one who has set many goals for himself and then goes out in life

and accomplishes some of them, but goes on living even if failing on others.

In the novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a pathetic character because

he wasted his whole life chasing an unrealistic dream.

Gatsby's dream is unrealistic because "it depends for its success

upon Daisy's discontent with her marriage and her willingness to exchange

it for a life of love. But Daisy's discontent, like her sophistication, is

a pose."(Aldridge 36) The fact is, Daisy has almost all of the things that

a woman could want out of a marriage. She is very wealthy, she has a

beautiful daughter, and her relationship with her husband is of a

comfortable nature. It is true that her life is not very exciting, but it

is unreasonable to think that she would trade all that she had in her

marriage to Tom Buchanan for Jay Gatsby. At that time, divorce was very

uncommon, and it was very unlikely that any woman would leave her husband

for any reason at all.

Everything that Gatsby ever did in his whole life was based upon

his pursuit of the dream. He moved to New York and bought his very

expensive mansion because of Daisy. Jordan Baker said, "Gatsby bought that

house so that Daisy would be just across the bay."(Fitzgerald 83) He held

many expensive parties in the hope that Daisy mi...

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...ing as a flawless plan. A successful person would achieve

their goals by meeting their needs in life by using what was given to them.

Gatsby tried to do the opposite, and failed. "Gatsby's story it is a story

of failure - the prolongation of the adolescent incapacity to distinguish

between dream and reality, between the terms demanded of life and the terms

offered."(Troy 21-22)

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Great Gatsby. Ed. Ernest H.

Lockridge. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968.

Troy, William. "Scott Fitzgerald - The Authority of Failure." F. Scott

Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Arthur Mizener.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 21-22.
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