First of all, Gatsby is not admirable because he refuses to be himself. Perhaps he wasn't meant to be a farmer or a pauper, however, Gatsby will never be the Rhett Butler he parades himself around to be. "His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people - his imagination had never really accepted them as his pa...
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True success cannot be measured in monetary terms but through knowledge, wisdom and finding one's true self. In this sense, Gatsby failed miserably. Although he was tremendously optimistic and pursued his dreams, he represented America at its’ worst: unnatural, overly extravagant, distasteful, and pathetic. Gatsby is not admirable because the way he led his life was a mockery to mankind. The beauty of striving for one's dreams is found in the self-discipline and work required – there is little merit in lavishly rewarding yourself for a goal achieved. Gatsby had no morals, no sense of self, and in truth, he had no life. He had only his money, his dreams, and his “make believe” reality. The Great Gatsby represents the complete corruption of the American dream.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
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