F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

James Gatz, better known as Jay Gatsby is the main character in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel is a story about Gatsby, and his relentless pursuit of his one and only dream and goal: Daisy Buchannon. Gatsby and Daisy met in 1917, five years prior to the setting of the novel. The fell in love immediately and spent countless hours together. After a month, Gatsby, at the time a lieutenant, was summoned to go off and fight in World War One. That moment marked Gatsby's loss of Daisy. Ever since that day Gatsby has constantly been trying to re-catch Daisy. Gatsby's pursuit of Daisy somewhat resembles the pursuit a knight has in a holy grail. Knights pursue the holy grail with endless fervor and devotion. Often a knights quest of a holy grail becomes religious and spiritual, due to the qualifications the knight must maintain in order to obtain the grail. Gatsby even compares his quest for Daisy to the quest of a grail:
[Gatsby] found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail. He knew that Daisy was extraordinary but he didn't realize just how extraordinary a "nice" girl could be. She vanished into her house into her rich full life, leaving Gatsby-nothing. He felt married to her, that was all. (156)
Gatsby thinks of himself as committed and married to Daisy. Marriage is both a spiritual and religious bond between two people. For Gatsby to use this comparison for his relationship with Daisy is crazy considering that they are not even together, and demonstrates what Gatsby thinks of Daisy. Gatsby even dedicates every waking hour of his life to his pursuit of Daisy. Gatsby during the entire novel is committed and obsessed with his larger than life goal of regaining Daisy's love and is willing to do anything for it.
Gatsby's tale with Daisy begins with his falling in love with her in 1917. But a month later he was shipped off to go and fight in World War One. Gatsby's desire to return to Daisy and continue their love began to effect everything he did, starting then. Gatsby tried endlessly to be released, by making wrong decisions in the war in a desperate hope that they would get him sent home. Instead of being sent home he remained in the war until the end and was then transferred to Oxford as a sort of compensation for giving his time to fight.

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And although he so desperately wanted to return home, he was forced to continue to Oxford. It was at Oxford that Gatsby received a letter from Daisy that informed him that she had married another man, Tom Buchannon. Shortly after this news Gatsby returns home and begins his quest at all costs for Daisy. Daisy and Tom move to East Egg to start their lives together, while Gatsby is living in Chicago. While living so far away from Daisy constantly looks for anything that would bring him closer to her. "‘Look at this,' said Gatsby quickly. ‘Here's a lot of clippings-about you'"(93). Gatsby went through all the Chicago newspapers to find any articles or clippings about Daisy that could help him reach her. His craving for her could almost be considered insane. He stalks her and follows her, and everything he does is for her. It's sort of like he sold his soul to her and is now stuck to her forever, but it is entirely voluntary. Anyone would find this dedication un-healthy but for Gatsby it is his only reason for living. So Gatsby decides to go after Daisy and continues his pursuit to West/East Egg, Long Island.
Gatsby moves to West Egg, the town right next to Daisy and across the sound. But don't overlook that as just an attempt to be nearer to Daisy. His house is right across the sound and from his backyard he can see her house. The novel formally begins with Nick moving into West Egg next-door to Gatsby's place , and Nick sometimes sees Gatsby gazing out at Daisy: "-he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light... that might have been the end of a dock"(21). Nick is correct about his assumption of the green light. It does mark the end of a dock, but it is a special dock. It is Daisy's dock. Since Gatsby was so close to her then, gazing out at her, but still so far away, so he decides to try to lure her in.

Gatsby does many other things for Daisy. He constantly throws extremely extravagant parties in an attempt to see her again, but she never shows up. The sole reason for his parties is her. He doesn't even enjoy his parties, which have many different "interesting people" (90), rather he constantly watches over his parties expecting Daisy to show up. Gatsby, in order to buy the house in which he lives in, employs several unorthodox methods of making money. He participates in the "drug business and then the oil business" (90).Gatsby is so committed to getting Daisy that he does anything. He has these interesting people at his parties to try to captivate her. He makes his money illegally and makes sure to start no trouble in order to achieve this aire of perfection that he feels Daisy would like. Gatsby even sends a woman whom attended his party a new dress after it gets dirtied in order to makes sure nothing messes up his perfection. It is this allusion of perfection that he puts on, and although he truly believes in his perfection, it is just an allusion due to the tainted methods he employs to achieve what he thinks Daisy desires. Gatsby has bundles of extremely fine shirts that which he uses to impress Daisy as well as an enormous house full with everything imaginable. He has a large flashy and very expensive car, a hydroplane, his own beach, and numerous servants. All of which he has solely to impress Daisy. "‘Don't [drain the pool today],' Gatsby answered. He turned to me apologetically. ‘You know old sport, I've never used that pool all summer?'" (153). Gatsby even has a pool which he never uses, as just another commodity that will impress Daisy when the time comes. There is always a method for Gatsby's madness, and his method involves his single dream in life: Daisy.

Gatsby's entire stay in West Egg until his death, is of the sole prospect of his getting back together with Daisy. He is so obsessed with her that he is willing to do anything for her. He forgets all of his morals and all of his reason and applies his full court press non-stop in constant attempts in winning back Daisy. Gatsby befriends Jordan Boxer because he knows she is a friend of Daisy and her acquaintance could end up helping him with his ultimate goal. And although Gatsby put so much time and effort into reconnecting with Daisy maybe he was doomed from the start. When a knight pursues a holy grail, only the pure knight can complete his mission in obtaining the holy grail. But failure is immanent in a story where both the knight and the grail are impure.
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