Jay Gatsby Transformation

1421 Words 6 Pages
Behind any great novel is a protagonist who keeps the reader interested and entertained throughout the course of the story. Though Nick is the narrator of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald the novel is centered around Jay Gatsby an extremely wealthy man who lives on the West Egg of Long Island. Gatsby begins the book as an enigma, not much is known of him other than his legendary parties, however as the story progresses you find out more and more about who he is, where he came from and why he is living on the West Egg. In 2000 the now defunct Book magazine compiled a list of the 100 greatest characters of the 20th century, and they placed Gatsby at number one. Jay Gatsby is the greatest literary character since 1900 because of the way …show more content…
Upon his arrival on Long Island, narrator, Nick Carraway, begins to hear word of his mysterious neighbor, Gatsby. Gatsby is well known for his legendary parties which he holds in his enormous mansion, and it’s not long before Nick gets an invite to attend a party himself. While there he hears a number of rumours about who Jay Gatsby really is, “‘Oh no,’ said the first girl ‘it couldn’t be that [he was a German spy], because he was in the American army during the war… You look at him sometimes when he thinks nobody’s looking at him. I’ll bet he killed a man’”(44). Fitzgerald creates a perfect sense of intrigue around his title character in the early stages of the novel, offering glimpses into who Gatsby could be without revealing anything. After arriving at the party, Nick is surprised to find that Gatsby is nowhere to be found. Instead he meets various party-goers who all have their own theories about who Gatsby is. The reader’s sense of wonder over Gatsby’s identity grows stronger and stronger through the opening few chapters. Few other protagonists in literary history are given as drawn out and unclear an introduction as Jay Gatsby which compliments his greatness as a character rather than hindering …show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s brilliant writing. What separates Gatsby, and makes him a more engaging and compelling character than any other on the list is the way in which his whole story; past, present, and future all come together simultaneously over the the course of the entire book. For such a short novel the character development of Gatsby is outstanding, in a way that a character like Holden Caulfield cannot compare. Holden is another example of a compelling protagonist, but he pales in comparison to Gatsby because through his brief experience of one evening in New York City it is impossible to go to the same depths as Fitzgerald was able to explore with Gatsby. The only other character on the list who evokes the same kind of constant wonder and intrigue throughout the novel in which they feature is Boo Radley. However, Boo is not nearly a significant enough character, as he barely features in number of chapters, to be viewed in the same light as someone like Gatsby. With Gatsby, Fitzgerald created the ultimate protagonist; someone who is endlessly compelling and with a perfect character arc, leaving no loose ends or disappointing

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