Moralism In The Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper
The book, The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, deals with the issue of morals and humanity’s errors. A lack of moral values and convictions within the characters of The Great Gatsby leads to their own downfall. As examples of humanity’s wrongs, Fitzgerald uses the characters of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby represents the broken heart that cannot let go while Daisy gets caught in a glimpse of greatness and lacks any type of morals.
Jay Gatsby exemplifies his peers by his goals in life and his integrity. Gatsby doesn’t follow the laws of prohibition and he sells illegal alcohol through his drug store chain. Gatsby came east looking for another type of wealth- Daisy’s love. Although Gatsby has become financially and socially successful, he continues to strive for a distant dream; to regain his relationship with Daisy. Gatsby’s one fatal flaw is his strive for unrealistic dreams. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way . . .and distinguished nothing except a simple green light”(Fitzgerald 26). This shows how Gatsby was striving for his goal, trying to accomplish it, but not finding it to be within realistic reach. Gatsby is a noble man whose vision is fouled by his dream because he remains in a wonder at Daisy’s presence throughout the novel. The morality of Dan Cody, Gatsby’s role model, and the superficial people who flock to Gatsby’s parties contribute to Gatsby’s downfall. Their examples encourage Gatsby’s na ve belief that money and social standing are all that matter in his quest for Daisy. Gatsby became corrupted because his main goal was to have Daisy, at all costs. Gatsby sacrificed his own soul in order to please the lost soul of Daisy. Perhaps the poverty in which James Gatz found himself in was partly responsible for his obsession with a rich girl like Daisy. “Her voice was full of money” (Fitzgerald 127). Gatsby needed to have an enormous mansion so he could feel confident enough with Daisy. ” That huge place over there? Do you like it? I love it. ” (Fitzgerald 95). Gatsby dream was so tainted that having all those images of wealth around him incited a feeling of love. Jay Gatsby had all the things the rich wanted, a huge mansion, fancy clothes, and expensive cars.
In the end Gatsby is killed by the man who he tries to protect Daisy from; Mr. Wilson. “He [Gatsby] reshapes reality to fit his own delusions. But as a consequence he bears a direct responsibility both for his own death and for the death of Myrtle Wilson. In a sense, therefore, the deranged Mr. Wilson is right in singling out Gatsby for his revenge.” (Frohock 93).
Daisy Buchanan is the wife to Tom Buchanan and cousin to Nick. “Daisy is a girl who had caught a glimpse of the great life, but who lacked the courage to live it, someone who chose in the end to live the sophisticated life rather than the loving life” (Frohock 78). The reason behind Daisy’s marriage to Tom is since he was wealthy and he had convinced her not to wait for Gatsby to return from the war. Early on in the book , she is portrayed as sweet and innocent. Her white and seemingly floating dress appeals to Nick in that way. Daisy keeps her daughter around as a show toy. Whenever company comes over she calls for her daughter to come and put on an act for everyone. This is about all the excitement Daisy can get from her parties. When the company leaves she is a bored housewife who hasn t much of an idea of what she’s doing with the rest of her life.
When Gatsby and Daisy start their affair there is only one thing which he really wants from her. “He only wanted her to tell him [Tom] that she never loved him.” (Fitzgerald 91). Daisy is not worthy of the gratitude which Gatsby places her with. She is a hallow person and so is Gatsby’s dream which is based on an idea and not substance. Gatsby was corrupted by money. He wanted money and believed that money would make him happy. Once he became rich, his dream was centered on Daisy. Gatsby believed the only thing between him and his happiness was Daisy. Daisy appears to be sweet, innocent, and intelligent while under her “white dress” she is corrupt. She is really crude and showy in order to attract people to her. Much like now, people of the 1920’s tried to appear to be something they are not. This is displayed in Gatsby too with his involvement in the drug business to traffic his booze, but he appears to be simply a smart businessman.
Within The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald used the two characters of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan as examples of humanity’s lack of morals. The lack of morals within the characters of Daisy and Gatsby are evident throughout the entire book. Gatsby is an example of the American Dream in the way he earned his money and earned himself a quick social standing, but the one thing which tormented him was his broken heart. Daisy is the character that turns Fitzgerald’s story from a tale of lost love to a story of unhappy lives.