The Great Gatsby : Self Invention And Self Sacrifices Essay

The Great Gatsby : Self Invention And Self Sacrifices Essay

Length: 1656 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Gatsby’s Self-Invention and Self-Sacrifices
Glamour, fame, fortune: The American Dream dominated the 1920’s and was the goal everyone desired. This time period is through The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Throughout the novel, readers most closely follow the two most well-known parts of Long Island: West Egg and East Egg. These two eggs were the home of the rich and famous, leaving the poor to the Valley of Ashes. West Egg is home to new money, and is described by Nick Carraway, the narrator, as the “less fashionable of the two” (Fitzgerald 5). The other, East Egg, is home of old money, meaning the residents inherited their fortune. The significance of the contrast of these three areas lies in the character Jay Gatsby, formerly known as James Gatz. This prominent figure is able to rise from poverty due to his determination and the influence of Daisy Fay, but with a few consequences.
James Gatz was born in North Dakota in 1890 to a man named Henry C. Gatz, an impoverished farmer. From an early age, James loathed this hardship his family faced and longed for nothing less than great fortune. Fahimeh Keshmiri brings to light this hatred young James had for his financial situation in “The Disillusionment of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Dreams and Ideals in The Great Gatsby,” an article published in Theory and Practice in Language Studies – “At his youth, Gatsby detested poverty and yearned for prosperity and superiority” (1296). Keshmiri then continues to prove this claim by mentioning the fact that Gatsby could not complete his college studies because he could not handle working as a janitor to pay his tuition. Upon Gatsby’s death, his father shows Nick Carraway one of James’ old books with a daily schedule and general resolutions i...

... middle of paper ... little to no advantages. However, the ambitious boy did not let this obstacle interfere with the future he desired. From proactive resolutions to inspiration from the love of his life, he did not run short on incentives. James Gatz traded his name and impoverished past for Jay Gatsby, an aspiring millionaire. He was able to meet and make deals with a business man, Wolfsheim, in trade for his morals. This was a small price to Gatsby, who desired nothing more than money and Daisy. He obtained a large mansion and had thousands of guests on the weekend. However, only one of these guests could be considered a friend to Gatsby. Nick knew Jay for one short summer, and was still a faithful friend to the end. In the face of a lonely life, Jay Gatsby died a happy man because he believed his hard work had payed off and he believed he had once again won his love’s heart.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sacrifices in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay example

- The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God-- a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that-- and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end (99). James Gatz was already "about his Father's business" when he carefully sketched out a schedule for self improvement on the back of his "Hopalong Cassidy" book....   [tags: The Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
1770 words (5.1 pages)

The Selfish and the Selfless in The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath

- When facing a conflict, one mostly tries to find a solution that will benefit him rather than accommodate everyone. It’s much more satisfactory to have everything go one’s way than having to compromise with another. This selfish mentality is something that repeatedly takes place in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, where many characters act out of their own self-interest. However, throughout The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, the individuals often commit acts of true altruism....   [tags: The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath]

Better Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby - Nick Carraway's Self-Interest Essay example

- Nick's Self-Interest in The Great Gatsby      In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays a world filled with rich societal happenings and love affairs. His main character, Gatsby, is flamboyant, pompous, and only cares about impressing the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan. Nick is Fitzgerald's narrator for the story, and is a curious choice as a narrator because he is of a different class and almost a different world than Gatsby and most of the other characters in the book....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
1650 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about Corruption and Failure in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

- Corruption in The Great Gatsby      The theme of human corruption, its sources and consequences, is a common concern among writers from Shakespeare through J.D Salinger. Some suggest that it attacks from outside, while others depict corruption occurring from within the individual. In the case if The Great Gatsby and it's protagonist's fate, Fitzgerald shows both factors at work. The moral climate of the Roaring Twenties, Daisy Fay Buchanan's pernicious hold on him, and Jay Gatsby's own nature all contribute to his tragic demise....   [tags: Great Gatsby Essays]

Free Essays
503 words (1.4 pages)

Innocence in Daisy Miller, My Antonia, and the Great Gatsby Essay

- Innocence in Daisy Miller by Henry James, My Antonia by Willa Cather and the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is not as easy as it seems to distinguish who is innocent and who is not. Innocence is a cultural concept which is usually confusing. An act that is naïve and normal in one society can be a public disgrace in another. Then a question comes to mind: What is innocence. Challenging the norms of a society makes a person totally wicked. What spoils or preserves innocence. The word innocence is ambiguous....   [tags: Daisy Miller, My Antonia, Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
2112 words (6 pages)

Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller And The Pursuit Of Self Fulfillment

- In the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both text creators use their main character to display how to attempt to overcome the inevitable adversity that comes with the pursuit of self-fulfillment. The quote “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” by John F Kennedy greatly resembles the ideas proposed by the text creators through Gatsby and Willy Loman. Throughout the sources, both Willy Loman and Jay Gatsby pursue the American Dream relentlessly to the brink, where they ultimately drown in the relaxing pool of self-fulfillment that is death....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby]

Better Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Symbolism in The Great Gatsby Essay

- Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald reached a celebrity status upon his publication of This Side of Paradise and attained all new heights of stardom after his release of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald reveals a great deal about himself in The Great Gatsby as he ascribes aspects of himself to different main characters in the novel. Fitzgerald uses these symbolic characters to aptly represent humans and social classes in the Jazz Age, defined by the OED as “The 1920s in the US characterized as a period of carefree hedonism, wealth, freedom, and youthful exuberance”....   [tags: Frances Scott Fitzgerald, literary analysis]

Better Essays
1641 words (4.7 pages)

Money Can Not Buy Happiness Essay

- Money can buy happiness for a short amount of time, but after a while, they will require even more. The Great Gatsby shows a great example of money cannot buy happiness and portrays this very well. F. Scott Fitzgerald in the novel, The Great Gatsby, implies that money cannot buy happiness. Gatsby has all the money yet he is not happy when he throws gigantic parties at his house. Daisy, the one he tried to lure in with his parties, never cared to show up. The love shown by Gatsby towards Daisy, “’I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed....   [tags: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wealth, The Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

In The Great Gatsby, Is Gatsby Truly Great? Essay

-   Is great Gatsby truly great. It seems so according to Nick Carraway, the narrator in the novel of “The Great Gatsby.” Nick has a moral background that allows him to judge Jay Gatsby accordingly. His descriptions did not only creates sympathy, but also made Gatsby, the outlaw bootlegger, somehow admirable. F. Scott Fitzgerald presented this ethical trick to expose people’s delusions about the American dream, and uses Nick to show sympathy for strivers.   At the roaring ages of 1920s, the booming economy brings up the notion of American dream....   [tags: The Great Gatsby Essays]

Better Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)

The Great Gatsby Essay

- The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby belongs to what Harold Bloom tags the “tomb” of literary archetypes, a family of fiction that espouses every facet of the expressive use of language (everything from Shakespeare’s plays to Dickens’ prose). As a participant in this tomb, The Great Gatsby has adopted a convenient persona in the world of twentieth century literature as “the great American novel,” a work that embodies the American thematic ideals of the self-made man, the great American character—Jay Gatsby....   [tags: Great Gatsby Fitzgerald Papers]

Better Essays
2601 words (7.4 pages)