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Most self respecting people have ethics and morals they try to abide by. They create standards that they live life by and construct their own philosophy with. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, morals and ethics are a scarce practice. Jay Gatsby lives his life by the over bearing morals and values of devotion, corruption, and his will to control.
Gatsby has an uncanny devotion for the things and people he desires. Gatsby is a poor man who feels that he can win his love Daisy back, if he achieves enough material wealth. When he first meets Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby commits "himself to the following of a grail" (156). After five years of separation, he will do anything in his power to win her love back. Everything he does, up to this point is directed toward winning Daisy's favor and having her back in his life. The greatest example of his devotion towards Daisy is the mansion he constructs, "a colossal affair by any standard...with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn and garden" (9). Once a "penniless young man without a past" (156), he transforms himself into a self-made millionaire and builds an extravagant mansion without having any history of family wealth. He also strategically places the mansion across the lake from Daisy's house. From his window, Gatsby can see the blue colored lights of her house. Even though she is marries to Tom Buchanan and has a daughter, he "revalues everything in his house according to the amount of response it draws from her well loved eyes" (96). But in the end, Gatsby's insurmountable devotion to Daisy won't be enough to win her over. He dedicates so much of his life just to be with her and ultimately it won't make any difference in the long run.
Gatsby also displays examples of corruption through his acquisition of wealth. Gatsby's business dealings are not clear. He admits to his neighbor, Nick that he is "in the drug store business" (95). The drug store business during prohibition means that the person is a bootlegger. Bootlegging is a highly profitable business and bootleggers are commonly associates with gangsters who commit harsh and cruel deeds. The society Gatsby wants to be a part of is based on money and power, not faith and love.
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Everyone tries to enforce their own morals and standard in their everyday life. But sometimes, they don't always result positively. Unfortunately for Jay Gatsby, the ultimate consequence of his actions would be his very own tragic death.