The Great Gatsby : Self Invention And Self Sacrifices Essay

The Great Gatsby : Self Invention And Self Sacrifices Essay

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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...


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...th 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.




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