Jay Gatsby´s Outlook on Life in F. Scott Fitzgerald´s The Great Gatsby Essay

Jay Gatsby´s Outlook on Life in F. Scott Fitzgerald´s The Great Gatsby Essay

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With regards to human nature during the Jazz Age during which he wrote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, would most likely agree with the general philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on human psychology. In a nutshell, the view of Rousseau was simply that man is naturally pure and free, only to be corrupted by society and the outside world. In connecting Fitzgerald’s use of appropriate color symbolism to the two parts of Rousseau’s view, we can see how he (Fitzgerald) is describing the nature of man in general terms through the story of Jay Gatsby. The colors mainly associated with Jay Gatsby throughout the course of the book are white, yellow, and blue, which, in order, represent the progression of his mental state and his outlook on life.
One of the focal points in The Great Gatsby is the characterization of Daisy as pure and innocent, and also as Gatsby’s goal in the book. When Nick, the narrator, goes to meet Daisy and her friend Jordan Baker early in the book, he makes note of the amount of white surrounding Daisy. In describing Daisy and Jordan, Nick says “They were both in white” (Fitzgerald 13) He even makes note of the minute things around Daisy, like the windows in her house, which were “ajar and gleaming white” as well (Fitzgerald 13). Much later, Gatsby himself refers to her as the one who lives "high in a white palace, the king's daughter, the golden girl", meaning that she is surrounded in purity (Fitzgerald 115). Despite taking any of the other viewpoints towards the attainability of Daisy, like saying that she is evasive, or indecisive, Gatsby continues to believe that she is as pure as they come, and sets it as his goal, to get his relationship with Daisy back to where it was in the past. This in...


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...ders can see the end results of how the outer world, in its competition for monetary greatness, can ruin a man with good intentions.

Upon reflection of Gatsby's life, Rousseau's words echo through everything. A simple man, with pure intentions, seeking out a pure, happy life, winds up dead as a result of the world around him. Granted he did have a role in some of the discretionary aspects of his issues like with his money sense, Gatsby really does serve as an example of how the real world can tarnish somebody's inner joy and purity, and land them in a worse place than where they started. The story of how Gatsby's life turns out then speaks to Fitzgerald's view on the world in his time, and his belief that a re-emphasis of Rousseau's teachings would benefit the audience of his book, and show them the non-fictional issues of the world, even through a fictional medium.

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