Theme Of Selfishness In The Great Gatsby

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Selfishness is a disease of the soul that a person experiences several times throughout life. To say that one is ignorant of selfishness would be hypocrisy. To say that selfishness is a beneficial trait, however, would be erroneous. Although as humans, we lie to ourselves, selfishness can make a person behave arrogantly. Being selfish consumes us and changes us into someone we are not. Whether it leads to getting people killed, losing love, or abolishing families, selfishness always leads to destruction. Selfish people place their own wants, needs, and happiness before anything or anyone else. Furthermore, they feel no obligation to help others. Because selfish people do not value others, they often live a lonely life full of unhappiness. Also, when people are selfish, they do not remain happy…show more content…
Jay Gatsby illustrates a prime example of this. The entire book revolves around his one selfish desire to be with the woman he loves, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby is well aware that Daisy married Tom Buchanan, but that does not stop him. Gatsby and Daisy begin seeing each other and spending a great amount of time together. A secret love life is not enough to satisfy Gatsby. One night he and Tom, Daisy’s husband, are in a dispute. Gatsby argues that Daisy never loved Tom, but Tom contends that Daisy always loved him. Gatsby tells Daisy, “…Just tell him the truth-that you never loved him- and it’s all wiped out forever” (139). Daisy explains to Gatsby that he is asking too much of her. Of course she loves Tom; she married him. Gatsby should be grateful that Daisy loves him. This act of selfishness brings destruction upon Gatsby himself. When Gatsby hears that Daisy actually loves Tom he is dismayed, “‘You loved me too?’ he repeated” (140). Gatsby unreasonably asks more of Daisy, only to relieve his own selfish desires. His pushing results in obliterating Tom and Daisy’s relationship, as well as Gatsby’s
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