Great Gatsby Essay Research Paper hroughout Fitzgerald

Great Gatsby Essay, Research Paper

hroughout Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, there seems to be a broad

spectrum of moral and social views demonstrated by various characters.


one end, is Tom, a man who attacks Gatsby’s sense of propriety and

legitimacy, while thinking nothing of running roughshod over the lives


those around him. A direct opposite of Tom’s nature is Gatsby, who


great generosity and caring, yet will stop at nothing to achieve his


of running off with Daisy. Also, in the middle of this, are various

characters who seem to sway back and forth in their stands as


This range of personalities lends itself well to a uniquely subtle

interplay between their characters

At first glance, The Great Gatsby is merely a classic American tragedy,

portraying the story of a man’s obsession with a fantasy, and his


downfall. However, Fitzgerald seems to weave much more than that into


intricate web of emotional interactions he creates for the reader. One

interesting element is the concepts of greatness each has. For Daisy, it

lies in material wealth, and in the comfort and security associated with

it. Daisy seems to be easily impressed by material success, as when she


touring Gatsby’s mansion and seems deeply moved by his collection of


tailored shirts. It would seem that Tom’s relative wealth, also, had at


time impressed her enough to win her in marriage. In contrast to that,

Gatsby seems to not care a bit about money itself, but rather only about

the possibility that it can win over Daisy. In fact, Gatsby’s extreme

generosity gives the reader the impression that Gatsby would otherwise


never even worked at attaining wealth had it not been for Daisy. For

Gatsby, the only thing of real importance was his pursuit of Daisy. It

would seem that these elements are combined, too in the character


Myrtle is, as Daisy, impressed with Tom’s wealth and appearance, but,


Jay Gatsby, is stuck in a fantastic, idealized perception of her object


affection. Even when abused and trampled over by Tom, Myrtle continues


adore him, just as Gatsby continues to dote upon Daisy after being

obviously rejected by her. As far as ethical considerations, Gatsby


to prove himself a sincere and caring person, while Daisy and Tom just

destroy the lives of two people and then leave town to escape the

consequences of their actions. Between the cold ruthlessness of Tom, and

the tenderness of Gatsby, there are also characters who appear to fit

somewhere in between on this scale. Jordan, while appearing to be a


respectable lady, is seen in several instances as an accused in cheating

and is tends to bend the rules when it suits her, such as during a game,


during her relationship with Nick. Jordan seems to be a standard of

semi-corruption, of naked self-interest, that the other characters on


extremes of the scale of moral and social considerations can be


Thus, The Great Gatsby presents an extremely interesting set of moral


It can be said, then, that one of Fitzgerald’s main talents, as shown in

the novel, is in showing various levels of moral and emotional


in characters, and juxtaposing them. Perhaps it is this element that

distinguishes The Great Gatsby from many other novels with similar



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