What Makes Gatsby Tick? Essays

What Makes Gatsby Tick? Essays

Length: 1931 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

It is every writer’s aspiration to write a literary work as deep and profound as F. Scott Fitzgerald has in his masterpiece The Great Gatsby. The novel alludes to an innumerable variety of themes; encompassing all of the symbolism, metaphorical traits, and masterful writing that an English teacher’s favorite should have. In a novel of this caliber it is expected that there are many deep and well-developed characters. This book has them in spades. From all of the wide variety of characters portrayed in this novel, Jay Gatsby is clearly the most vital and interesting; the course of events in The Great Gatsby are clearly centered around him.
Gatsby’s behavior in the story can be summed up concisely in the word delusional. While his intentions are sincere, he is totally blind to the reality of the situation. “Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!"(Thomas Parke D’Invilliers) Gatsby’s actions throughout the novel follow this quote accurately. His entire universe and mindset are fixed around one person; he would do anything if only it would make her reciprocate his feelings. He wore the gold hat, he bounced up high liked a crazed lunatic; all in hopes that she would cry out her love for him. This is what makes Gatsby so interesting. At first glance, the impression given is that he is a very keen man and knows exactly what to concentrate his attention on – after all, he’s incredibly rich, successful and well composed. However, with a closer look into his deeply troubled mind, Gatsby’s shortcomings become apparent.
It is said that initial impressions are the most important stage when meeting someone – during which you will form your first opinions of the individual in question. Resident raconteur Nick Carraway is greeted with a slightly startling first comment from Gatsby: “‘Your face is familiar,’ he said, politely. ‘Weren't you in the Third Division during the war?’" (Fitzgerald 51) Gatsby, instead of interrogating the poor man, actually makes the effort to establish familiarity by finding a common ground with Nick. Also, he brings up the past, something he talks about frequently; in fact, he lives in the past, always dwelling on what should have been. Although his history is not fully explained, it does not need to be, for wh...

... middle of paper ...

...ore him. Through his rose-tinted glasses he fails to see that it’s just not possible. To strive for such things may very well be healthy, but to weigh the very meaning of your life so heavily on one person is certainly not. Gatsby’s incredibly narrow vision is further evidenced when, although putting forth his best efforts, Nick is unable to persuade anyone to come to his funeral. The realist and symbolic moderator, Owl-Eyes, is there, serving as an all-knowing being, almost seeming to say, “I told you so.” Coffin closed, Gatsby is submitted to his final judgment in the rain.
Encompassing the idea that the past can’t be relived, Gatsby is the pivotal character in The Great Gatsby, and serves as a lesson to us all. Even with all of his shortcomings, the reader feels a sense of tragedy and loss at his death, but no degree of sympathy can contest the truth. While it is important to remember, some things need to be respectfully forgotten so that, unlike Gatsby, we may continue to make progress in our lives. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Although we may wish we could relive the past, what has been, has been – and never shall be again.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Essay

- Wealth, Love, and the American Dream It has been said that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is about the pursuit of the American dream. It has also been said that the novel is about love, ambition, and obsession. Perhaps both are true. Combined, these themes may be understood in their most basic forms among the relationships within the novel. After all, each character’s reason for belonging to a relationship speaks very strongly of what really makes him tick; each character’s manifestation of his own desires is found within his lover....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

What Makes Us Tick? Essay example

- What makes us tick. Whatever it is that causes us to do what we do; on occasion leads us into deep trouble. It is possible to ignore the less than desirable results of our actions for a time. We can put the bad experience down to the luck of the game. Being misunderstood could be in with a chance. Maybe ‘maybe,’ but time is running out. The hard fact is that each one of us is totally responsible for the outward flow from our brains (as in what we do and or say) even our thoughts can be projected....   [tags: responsible, brain, automatic]

Powerful Essays
757 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Heart: The Machine that Makes Us Tick

- The heart is the central innermost part of us that keeps us alive. Ironically, this that gives all creatures life is the same thing that destroys us in the end. Whether it be that our hearts beat so fast that we fear rest like the hummingbirds, or maybe it’s our needs and ambitions that bring us at risk with death. All creatures have the ambition to live, and the need for food, love, and life. However when you love you are vulnerable, when your rest you are vulnerable, and vulnerability is the greatest restriction of the heart....   [tags: personal reflection, philosophical analysis]

Powerful Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

Suicide Bombers: What makes them tick? Essay

- Has anyone ever wondered how one individual could kill thousands of individuals, and not feel bad about it. Thousands of people die each year due to suicide bombing, but not too many people know why they do it. Also, no one really wonders about the past and how suicide bombing started. Someone did not just wake up, and decide to strap bombs to themselves, then detonate them inside a building full of people. This essay will discuss the history of suicide bombing, the training of a bomber, the personality of a suicide bomber, the different motivations behind his or her action, and the way culture impacts the bombing and the bomber....   [tags: Psychological Trauma, Religion, Social Issues]

Powerful Essays
1684 words (4.8 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]

Powerful Essays
845 words (2.4 pages)

The Grand Illusion in The Great Gatsby Essays

- The American dream is a farce. Hopeful American children and quixotic foreigners believe that freedom will lead to prosperity, and that prosperity will bring happiness. This anticipation of joy will never come to fruition, and all these unfortunate people will feel that they were cheated out of happiness by some unlucky roll of dice, but really they have been chasing cars, because the American dream is not something one can truly capture, but only smoke trapped in the palm of a hand. In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby’s lavish parties, characterized by music, dancing, and illegal alcohol, are a representation of the corruption of society’s values, and are filled with guests only concerned with...   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
827 words (2.4 pages)

Gatsby's American Dream Essay

- A commonly held tenet among people from all generations is that hard work will ultimately lead to wealth and prosperity. This concept, illustrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, is known as the American Dream. Although many have this dream today, it is a one in a million chance to attain it, regardless of whether or not a person is tremendously deserving of such success. James Gatz, later known as Jay Gatsby, is a character who experiences this minute probability of the American Dream coming true....   [tags: The Great Gatsby]

Powerful Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Cattle Tick

- Cattle Tick The cattle tick Boophilus microplus is a significant ectoparasite of cattle and a vector for important diseases such as babesiosis and anaplasmosis. Classification SPC List D disease Susceptible species B. microplus is primarily a parasite of cattle. However, heavy infestations can also occur on horses, sheep, deer and water buffalo. Rarely, ticks have been reported on marsupials, goats, dogs, cats and pigs. Where it occurs The cattle tick is widely distributed in Central and South America, parts of the southern USA, Africa, Asia, and northern Australia....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
887 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Jay Gatsby

- The novel, The Great Gatsby focuses on one of the focal characters, James Gatz, also known as Jay Gatsby. He grew up in North Dakota to a family of poor farm people and as he matured, eventually worked for a wealthy man named Dan Cody. As Gatsby is taken under Cody’s wing, he gains more than even he bargained for. He comes across a large sum of money, however ends up getting tricked out of ‘inheriting’ it. After these obstacles, he finds a new way to earn his money, even though it means bending the law to obtain it....   [tags: Great Gatsby, Character Analysis]

Powerful Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Great Gatsby

- In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay Gatsby is a mysterious man living in the West Egg district of Long Island. Gatsby is extremely wealthy and owns a mansion with a large swimming pool, a fancy car, and dozens of servants. Every Saturday night, he throws extravagant parties which many people, most of whom haven't even been invited, attend. No one really knows anything about Gatsby, except that he is rich and generous. However, many rumors are created about him. Some say that he was a German spy during the war and some say that he killed a man....   [tags: The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Free Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)