Jay Gatsby Contradictions

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The American Dream is familiar to all Americans. A young person born into poverty, through hard work and perseverance, can gain money because of America’s economic system, which is supposed to give all Americans the same same advantages. Through his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the extravagant 1920s through the eyes of his narrator, Nick Carraway. Nick moves into New York and is catapulted into the world of the extravagantly rich, which bursts with drama, lies, and corruption. His next door neighbor, Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious and extravagantly wealthy man who leads Nick on a whirlwind of a summer. In fact, Gatsby seems to perfectly exemplify the American Dream through his past. Born James Gatz, Gatsby later changes …show more content…
Fitzgerald is able to explore the idea of the irony of the fabled parable. Fitzgerald uses his character Jay Gatsby to explore the death of the American Dream. Fitzgerald compares Gatsby to Tom Buchanan, the husband of Daisy, throughout the novel to exemplify the contradictions of the essence of the American Dream in modern America. For example, Fitzgerald compares and contrasts Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan. Gatsby is labelled as a new money man; that is, he came into his wealth by earning all of it. However, Tom Buchanan was born into a wealthy family and has never had to earn a cent on his own. At first glance, Gatsby may appear to uphold the standard of the American Dream, but upon further inspection, the author discreetly reveals that he earned all of his money through …show more content…
Fitzgerald focuses heavily on the topic of Gatsby’s many illusions, whether they be about his past or occur during his present. For example, Gatsby’s story of his past in comparison to his real past is wrought with lies. Gatsby goes off on a tangent to Nick, and Nick narrates, “With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases [that Gatsby spoke] were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a…character” (Fitzgerald 66). Nick begins to see through Gatsby’s lies, but Gatsby later provides a photo and war medal that make Nick question whether or not he tells the truth. Gatsby hereby exemplifies the essence of high-class society: built on a mixture of lies and truth that cannot be entirely separated from one another. This contradicts the American tradition of hard labor achieving honorable outcomes, because the entire infrastructure is built on lies. Another example of Gatsby’s illusions is his willingness to do anything to get Daisy, his true love, back. “It is clear that the vague, inchoate dream [of Gatsby] alights Daisy, and romantically transfigures her into a creature of Gatsby’s imagination” (Miller 169). This parallels to the romanticism of the twenties and the riches and prosperity they seem to hold, especially on the eyes

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