The Unreachable Land and The Unsure Sea Essay

The Unreachable Land and The Unsure Sea Essay

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One reaches back determined to change and fix the past. One wants to fix the past to suit their memories or right one’s future. It’s the want and the need to rid one’s negative feelings, to replace them with more positive ones in order to feel loved. This is a feeling that many of the characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby attempt to achieve. “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart”(Fitzgerald 45-46). The desire to be loved and cared is a feeling that one has always subconsciously yearned from others, even at the cost of one’s self.
Jimmy Gatz wanted to live a life where he was happy with the person he loved and showcase what he truly cared about. He could never get that feeling from his parents. “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.”(94). Children need some sort of direction from adults to figure out a distinct character of themselves later on. This resulted in Jimmy creating a character, Jay Gatsby, that misrepresented him, in order to gain the feeling of love he so desired. “I suppose he’d had the name ready for a long time...The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself….So he invented [just what] a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent...”(94). His love for himself was not sufficient enough to allow him to continue forward in time, without the person who helped him fill in his new character that had begun to form under Dan Cody’s care.
He met Meyer Wolfsheim in an effort to get back to his love. “[Meyer] raised him up out of nothing...I saw right away he was a fine-appearing, gentlemanly young man, and...


... middle of paper ...


...e promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm, thinning hair”(135), and a thinning about of time to do something with one’s life. Nick was the only character to realize what he was doing to himself and Jordan was unhealthy for them both.
“Gatsby believed in...the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther….So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”(180). The past where one’s true love seems to always rest—unreachable, yet still something to continue reaching for, even as one travels, reluctantly, further and further into the unsure sea.


Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Paperback ed. New York City: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925. Print.

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