“‘They’re a rotten crowd,’ I shouted across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’” (Fitzgerald 162). The ‘I’ in this quote is Nick Carraway, and the ‘You’ is Jay Gatsby. The ‘whole damn bunch’ that Nick was comparing Gatsby to was the crowd of too wealthy people that inhabited New York, including the woman Gatsby loved and ultimately gave his life for. Gatsby was a man who was a projection of the hopes and dreams of his younger self.
Jay Gatsby wasn’t always Jay Gatsby. He came from the humble beginnings of North Dakota as James Gatz. He had next to nothing; no money, no education, and no connections. But he was determined to make something of himself. His father said, “Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had
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Gatsby is a relatable character. He did what all of us hoped to achieve; become exactly the person we want to be. He strove for his dreams, undeterred because of his ability to hope, and he reached them. “If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life.… [Gatsby had] an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again” (Fitzgerald 6). However, this is not the only reason he is relatable. He also portrays our inability to let things go. While his ambitions drove him into wealth and greatness, his was also unable to let go of the fact that Daisy has moved on with her life. He was unsatisfied with all that he had, because he had to have Daisy. It is this obsession and stubbornness that lead to his demise.
Jay Gatsby was the result of Jimmy Gatz’s hard work and ambitions. He was a man stuck in the past while trying to escape it at the same time. His death was a result of his inability to let go of Daisy and his belief in the American Dream that through hard work he could achieve anything, even reliving the