Why Does History Repeat Itself In The Great Gatsby

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Does history repeat itself? Historians examined this question for millenniums, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. Initially, the answer seems like yes, but does it actually? The Great Gatsby, by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, tells a different answer. The story revolved around two characters: Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby and Buchanan loved each other, but Gatsby went to war. While Gatsby fought, Daisy failed to wait for him and married Tom Buchanan. When Gatsby returned, he went on a restless pursuit for Daisy. He wanted history to repeat itself and be like the past. Although Gatsby wants to repeat the past and get together with Daisy, it is not possible for history to repeat itself. Gatsby, an optimist, never knew that history can’t repeat.…show more content…
Tom noticed an affair between Gatsby and Daisy, and everything boiled over. Tom, furious at Gatsby, complained how Gatsby is trying to take Daisy, while Gatsby persuades that Daisy never fell in love with Tom in the first place. “‘She’s never loved you, do you hear?’ he cried. ‘She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved any one except for me!’” (Fitzgerald 130) Later, Gatsby continued to pursue Daisy. “‘Daisy, that’s all over now,’ he said earnestly. ‘It doesn’t matter any more. Just tell him the truth- that you never loved him- and it’s all wiped out forever’” (Fitzgerald 132). The two quotes show what Gatsby desired: to win Daisy. Gatsby believed that Daisy still loved him, just like she did five years ago. He thinks that history can repeat itself, and be like the past. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t realize that many things…show more content…
However, history doesn’t necessarily echo itself. Eric Rauch explains his idea on historic recurrence. “Consider for a moment the old adage that ‘history repeats itself.’ While this may be true, it should also be remembered that ‘history’ is not a thing unto itself. Future events know nothing of past events. History doesn’t repeat itself in the sense that history has a mind or a conscience, but it does have a cadre of reporters. Perhaps instead of saying that ‘history’ repeats itself, what we should say instead is that ‘historians repeat themselves’” (Rauch 16-20). He points out that it is not history itself that repeats itself. History, just by definition, means the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. How can a study, where a “mind or a conscience” isn’t present, possibly repeat itself? Of course, similar events occurred that showed some resemblance to each other. World War Two occurred from the effect of World War One. Both wars consumed millions of lives and Germany emerged as losers in both wars. But did World War Two reproduce “The Great War”? Certainly not. Back in 2008, many historians criticized that the United States shifted toward another major economic depression like the Great Depression back in 1929. Of course, many economists argued that the economic crisis of 2008 suffered
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