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What Makes Gatsby Great? Essay Example

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The Great Gatsby was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous story- written in 1925. The tale tells the story of a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby after being inspired by the lavish parties and high-end lifestyle of some of the people he met in New York. Jay Gatsby, the main character of the story, is a young, mysterious millionaire with shady business connections and a luxurious lifestyle. The story The Great Gatsby is “about the breakdown of class differences in the face of a modern economy based not on status and inherited position but on innovation and an ability to meet ever-changing consumer needs” (Gillespie, 2010). Gatsby is a complicated character whose his greatness lies in his ability to throw lavish parties, attract mass amounts of people to his mysterious mansion, and deceive many through his false personas and multiple personalities.

Jay Gatsby is a veil of promises and deceit throughout the novel, but none of this takes away from his greatness. The relationship between him and the people who sought his company becomes realized when Fitzgerald writes “In his blue gardens, men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” Gatsby threw parties centered around glamour, fine food, exquisite desserts, and a never ending supply of liquor. People were drawn to Gatsby in a mysterious and provocative nature. Gatsby’s greatness lies in his ability to draw in guests from all over, as if they were called by some mysterious force to his mansion.

As a rural farm boy growing up in the boondocks- devoid of any personal or business connections, money, or education, “Gatz” had a plan- he was going to escape his circumstances and create a name for himself somewhere else, however he had to. By the time “Gatz” makes it to West Egg he is an entirely new person- he has even taken on a new name “Jay Gatsby”. Goodbye Jay Gatz.

The multi-millionaire with questionable business tactics and multiple personas continues to create fake facades that represent the life he wishes he were living. In addition to his parties, nowhere is this more apparent in his continual pursuit of the character of Daisy–the one thing the multi-layered egotist could not purchase. Gatsby becomes notorious for his notoriety and wealth. People are drawn to him because of his mysteriousness and his wealth. Gatsby thrives off the attention, the glory, the fame and the game. He is a master of disguise.

Jay Gatsby’s greatness is not necessarily all based on good and ethical concepts of greatness throughout Fitzgerald’s book, but great he is without a doubt. Jay Gatsby’s ability to deceive the masses, combined with his lavish lifestyle make him a man desired by many- these are the things that make him great. Gatsby becomes enveloped in this lifestyle he has been living and loves the thrill of the games he plays. He can not help but create these personas that aid to his extravagant lifestyle and the lies that Gatsby has been living.

Works Cited:

Gillespie, Nick (2 May 2013). “The Great Gatsby’s Creative Destruction”. Reason. Retrieved 12 May 2013.

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