The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

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The Great Gatsby

Look closely at the details presented, the snatches of dialogue, and
Nick’s comments, in order to explain how Fitzgerald renders this
episode in both positive and negative ways.

The two-page extract from the Great Gatsby has various themes, motives
and symbolism running at its roots. This essay will attempt at
deciphering these symbols and clearly expressing their true meaning,
as well as the course they help to create in Fitzgerald rendering this
episode in both positive and negative ways.

Gatsby’s house is compared several times to that of a feudal lord, and
his imported clothes, antiques, and luxuries all display nostalgia for
the lifestyle of a British aristocrat. Though Nick and Daisy are
amazed and dazzled by Gatsby’s splendid possessions, a number of
things in Nick’s narrative suggest that something is not right about
this transplantation of an aristocrat’s lifestyle into a democratic
America.

Nick creates, through visual imagery an imaginary representation of
Gatsby’s house in his readers. He expresses the beauty embedded in the
gardens, “the sparkling odour of jonquils and the frothy odour of
hawton…” (88) the various eras and architectural designs, “Marie
Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration Salons” (88) and lastly the
different themes captured by these rooms, “through period bedrooms
swathed in rose and lavender” (88). The point it seems Nick tries to
convey is the ridiculousness found within the very structure of
Gatsby’s house. Gatsby’s ‘limited’ upbringing clearly represents his
inability to string things together, which would make his house classy
and reserved. Instead Gatsby combines things of different eras,
expressing not his incapability of decorating but rather an attempt in
reflecting his wealth through a brash and gaudy structure.

Furthermore it is fairly important to consider that out of all the
rooms, magnificently decorated and filled with materialism, Gatsby’s
room, the one in which the most time was to be spent, was the least
‘polluted’ by materialism. “His bedroom was the simplest room of all”.
(88) There also seems to be a sense of not belonging for Gatsby by the
introduction of Mr. Klipspringer, suggesting that everything that
Gatsby has created serves only one purpose: Daisy. It is fundamental
that Mr. Klipspringer’s presence, as well as Nick’s expectations of
hidden guests, “I felt that there were guests concealed behind every
couch and table” (88), suggests that the very nature of his home, his
very establishment is to house extravagant and careless parties, in
which the magnitude of his status and wealth may be exaggerated, in
the belief that Daisy may eventually realize his new status and
fulfill his lifelong endeavor.

Thus far Fitzgerald, through Nick, the only man to pertain to any
morals, has created the idea of an unbalanced environment.

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Fitzgerald
attempts at affirming a new balance through the reader’s realization
that Gatsby’s deliberate expressions of wealth and materialism in
everything he does, is clearly driven by a far nobler cause: love.
Gatsby then seems to be a man willingly found entrenched in a foreign
environment, driven by love and sustained by materialism.

“He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued
everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew
from her well-loved eyes.” (88)

This quote seems to encapsulate everything that Gatsby had hoped his
materialism would attract, solely and most importantly Daisy. It can
then be argued that this brings light to various positive aspects
within Gatsby’s life. However materialism is Gatsby’s mediator between
Daisy, a glorified dream, and Gatsby himself. Suggesting, and as
proven in Gatsby’s earlier years, that without the luxury and comfort
of materialism, the love he seeks may evade, as well as elude him.
Bringing about the question as to whether the love Daisy may have had
for Gatsby is real or not, amongst other different negative aspects.

Although it is clear that once Gatsby assumes that there is a
possibility for him to rekindle the passion and love he and Daisy
shared in their younger years, he willingly sacrifices and denies all
materialism:

“Sometimes too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as
though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer
real.” (88)

The first time Gatsby actually speaks, within this extract he blurts:

“It’s the funniest thing, old sport, I can’t – when I try to- “ (89)

This suggests how he (Gatsby) has totally been overcome by the very
thought of Daisy being in his house, comprehending everything he
slavishly achieved and fought for, for this very moment in which she
(Daisy) would understand that everything had been about her. This is
the stage in the novel that Gatsby realizes he has come to the verge
of his desires and dreams, finally reflecting the possibility of a
happy life. At this very stage we can stop and admire the possibility
of a rekindled love and the way in which this particular part of the
episode as been positively amplified.

The following extract, in contrast to the extract above echoes
Gatsby’s assertion in materialism, once again and its constant demand
in convincing, or assuring Daisy a possibility in their existence
together:

“I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a
selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
(89)

Prior to the speaking of these words, Nick realizes the gravity of the
situation in which both Daisy and especially Gatsby are embedded by
defining Gatsby’s current position:

“Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an over-wound clock”
(89)

This not only describes Gatsby’s condition but more over his condition
in relation to Daisy and his naïve attempts at winning Daisy over and
allowing himself to release a harbored dream in exchange for her love.

Lastly and probably the most severe realization is Daisy’s
understanding that regardless of all the material goods that have
deliberately found their ownership to Gatsby, there may never be a
absolute rekindling of their past feelings and emotions. This is
illustrated with Daisy’s response to the various arrays of shirts that
were tossed in a final attempt by Gatsby, through materialism, to
re-grasp a common emotion shared between one another:

“They’re such beautiful shirts. It makes me sad because I’ve never
seen such – such beautiful shirts before.” (89)

Daisy’s crying “stormily” just seems to amplify this belief and her
understanding in Gatsby’s life being a pitiful waste of time, perusing
a dream far after it was meant to be pursued.

In concluding it is clear to say that Fitzgerald incorporated within
this episode and the entire novel, both positive as well as negative
aspects. But it seems that the positive aspects merely suspend the
final conclusion of both this episode and the novel: delusion.
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