Is Gatsby Great (Essay Sample)

Is Gatsby Great

The Great Gatsby is one of the most amazing pieces of the American literature. Scott incorporated a lot of writing elements such as the creation of themes, humor, and irony to illustrate the narrative. The novel remains relevant in today’s world because Scott addressed the issues that are currently being witnessed in the economy such as the American dream, the post-war society, wealth and love. Jay Gatsby is represented as a character with a strong will in life (Scott, 2017). However, I believe that the title of the novel is ironical because the materialist nature of Gatsby, his false love and the crowds of people that attended his parties are indications that he is not a great character.

Jay Gatsby is represented as a poor character after the war who could not afford money to purchase new clothes. However, he is very rich, and at the beginning of the narration, he claims to have come across a huge amount of wealth that he doesn’t explain where it came from. As the narration progresses, we realize that he obtained his wealth through unlawful ways such as bootlegging and the stealing of securities. The protagonist associates with other characters such as Meyer Wolfsheim and Don Cody who bring us to light regarding how he acquired his wealth. Don Cody runs a silver mining business, and therefore, he takes Jay Gatsby abroad his yacht and gives him different job opportunities. They sails across the world and, at this time, it is clear that Gatsby’s character is taking a new shape. He begins climbing the ladder to an upper social status in the society when it comes to wealth issues just as he dreamt of (Little, 2015). As well, Meyer claims to has made Gatsby the person he is when asked whether he started him in business. Meyer says “I made him” (Fitzgerald, 1991). Therefore, the bad influence that Gatsby received from Meyer and Don forced him to join criminal activities in order to gain the wealth that he has always dreamt of. As a result, this does not make him a great person but rather a criminal who has a materialistic view of life. Jay Gatsby believes that he can win Daisy’s wealth as long as he was rich hence explaining the crowded and classy parties that he held in his home. A great person searches for riches through hard work and considering the well-being of others by avoiding criminal activities.

Jay Gatsby claims to have always been in love with Daisy, but the manner in which he wins her heart does not make him a great person. One of his main aims for acquiring a lot of wealth is to please Daisy. He holds classy parties that display a lot of attention with the hope that Daisy would show up and so that he can get a chance of talking to her. As well, at the end of the narration, Nick claims that Jay Gatsby was a very close friend but in the real sense, Gatsby new that Nick was a friend of Daisy. Therefore, he knew that by befriending Nick and assuring him of his trust, he would be able to get close to Daisy and this led to Nick organizing a meeting for Jay Gatsby and Daisy to meet. As a result, Nick was the only person who got to hear the love stories of Daisy from Jay because this would have played a substantial role in maintaining the love affair. In most cases, Jay sees himself as a son of God and Daisy as his trophy hence bringing out the fact that he is not committed to Daisy but rather sees her as an object that he deserves to have because he is a successful person in the society. This explains the reason as to why Daisy’s love for Jay Gatsby was not very strong because she existed an image in Jay’s life during his struggle to achieve the American dream. Daisy says “I did” (Fitzgerald, 1991) love him once but loved another person more. A great person is responsible for falling in love with a person for the rightful purposes and letting the other patty achieve the same feeling of love. Tricking someone into falling in love out of material things and creating the impression of having many friends by holding crowded parties does not make Jay Gatsby a great character but rather a coward. He should instead have worked his way into Daisy’s heart in the right way in order to become great.

In addition, after the tragic end of Gatsby, it is clear that the crowded parties were just a show-off and he used his wealth to get into the other people’s minds. Hence, people responded by being good to him and attending the parties for personal benefits. Nick is the only character that is concerned about arranging a funeral for Gatsby despite the fact that a lot of people we see close to him. An example is Klipspringer who is not devastated by Gatsby’s death but is rather worried about the tennis shoes that he had lost. Therefore, this is an indication that the people who got close to Gatsby did that so that they can benefit from his wealth and not because he was a great person to befriend. As well, he held crowded parties, but people were just there to have fun in life because none of them was seen touching his shoulders. A touch on the shoulder in the society is a show of love and unending friendship (Lindberg, 2015). Gatsby shows a lot of hospitality to people with the aim of winning their hearts instead of befriending them in the right manner. As a result, such friendship lasts as long as he is alive because the people are only concerned about benefiting from his wealth. Nick is the only character involved in organizing his funeral while the rest of the characters are unconcerned.

Therefore, Jay Gatsby is not a great character because, out of love for material things, Gatsby was able to make fake friends who never helped out during his funeral, showed false love for Daisy and held crowded parties to please the society. In the current society, such people still exist and every member of the society should identify such people and be careful when dealing with them to avoid ending up like the friends of Gatsby. Hence, digging deeper into the story of Gatsby, we realize that he had a strong will in life but the manner in which he did things in order to achieve the American dream is what made him have a tragic end. Hence, he was not a great character.


  • Fitzgerald, F. S. (1991). The Great Gatsby (1925). na.
  • Little, M. (2015). ” I Could Make Some Money”: Cars and Currency in The Great Gatsby. Papers on Language and Literature, 51(1), 3.
  • Lindberg, L. (2015). The American Dream as a Means of Social Criticism in The Great Gatsby.
  • Scott, F. F. (2017). The Great Gatsby. Рипол Классик.
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