Why Is Jay Gatsby Outdated

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America during the 1920s underwent significant societal changes as it attempted to adapt to the new environment brought about by the rapid urbanization and immigration of the previous decades. Women developed new roles within society and the economy flourished. However some writers looked past the vibrant and youthful facade into the darker issues of the time such as decadence and materialism. F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of these writers and his novel The Great Gatsby explores the gap that had formed between pre and post-war society. The namesake of the novel Jay Gatsby is a successful businessman who has achieved financial success through talent and hard work. However he has become enthralled with the love of his life Daisy Buchanan. However …show more content…
Many of main events of the novel involve Gatsby’s elaborate plan to reunite himself with Daisy. Gatsby plans a meeting between himself and Daisy at Nick’s house through Jordan Baker, a childhood friend of Daisy. When the couple’s relationship blossoms it rapidly becomes evident of the deeper meaning of the relationship. Gatsby desired social success to accompany his financial success. Daisy represented this to him as shown through his statement “Her voice is full of money” (Fitzgerald 120). Daisy has become incorporated into the American Dream which he strives to achieve. Daisy has become a symbol of success to him. However as their relationship falls through the symbolism continues. According to literary critic and English professor at the University of Manchester, Claire Stocks, Fitzgerald “suggest[s], society is strictly ordered, for the elite to retain their exclusive position at the top” (Stocks). In a grand sense Jay Gatsby is just a pawn in Fitzgerald’s grand statement about the impossibility of the American Dream. Further author and historian David Trask explains the reasoning for this failure claiming “ writers in the Twenties were above all dedicated to the imposing task of pointing out the error of living in terms of obsolete values” (Trask). This identifies Gatsby’s fall he lived with a …show more content…
When Nick first introduces Gatsby he describes his beautiful and sensitive personality along with “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 2). These qualities speak not only to his radiant personality but to the likeability which he possessed. While some characters like Tom saw his flaws, others like Nick and Jordan were fixated on his nature and turned a blind eye to his numerous flaws. One of these flaws was a self-righteousness and superiority complex built up even as a young child. “The truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God” (Fitzgerald 98). Gatsby saw his talent and immediately knew he was capable of more than the individuals who surrounded him. Blinded by his ego he saw no other explanation then a divine one. This hypothesis furthered his ego which while well concealed, remains present throughout the novel. Gatsby convinced himself that he deserved the treasures which this world has to offer. Trask reinforces this stating “Gatsby began his pursuit of goodness and beauty when he changed his name, and that pursuit ultimately ended in tragedy” (Trask). This goodness and beauty are represented by Fitzgerald as the wealth and comfort

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