The Great Gatsby Time Analysis

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The Presence of Time in The Great Gatsby
Time is treated very differently in The Great Gatsby, after all, the entire story takes place within a three month span. The theme being when one lives in an illusion of the past, they throw away any trace of an authentic future they could have obtained and along with it a blinding to reality. It is developed through Gatsby’s non-linear relationship with time. Gatsby sees the past as a series of events to change, he views the present as an extension of the past and lastly, the future as a place where Daisy is his and nothing else.
As we follow Nick’s telling of his story alongside Gatsby, we learn at the same time as him the many stories of his past that Gatsby shares. Though at the time one does not
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He has this idea that he can just take the pieces of his past that he likes and take them with him into the present. Most pieces being his love for Daisy and her love back to him. After Nick telling him that the past belongs there, Gatsby replies with this “ Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!” (110) Gatsby has no real connection with the true difference between the past and present, they are the same to him. His ideals blind him. The present is just a piece of time that can be bent at will into what he desires, let it be pieces of his past or future. It is a middle ground for the past to catch up to him and for him to make changes to it. He believes that if Daisy loved him in the past then it is right that she should love him in the present. Daisy explains how she really feels about Gatsby’s ideas of her love: “I love you now- isn’t that enough? I can’t help what’s past.” She began to sob helplessly. “I did love him once- but I loved you too.” (132) Daisy is trapped in this whirlwind of Gatsby’s ideas where it does not matter to him that Daisy has been living a life of her own those five years while he was away. He believes that he is the bridge between the past and present and that everyone should just do as he wishes. Never thinking of poor Daisy, whose past has literally crept up on her. The only thing that matters to him is that he is back for her and that he still is madly in love with her. …show more content…
The compilation of five years of trying to find a way to win her back has left Gatsby without an imaginable future of a life without her. His future is rooted deeply in the past and Nick explains this at the end of the book as this “ Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter-” (180) Gatsby was always looking forward to that green light on Daisy’s dock, always holding parties and spending money, never taking his eyes off what he believed was the future that he deserved. His ideas were based on the past, on defunct mutual feelings. This leads to his eventual loss of the reality of the life he could have lived. Nick also tells the readers about the race to the future “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” (180) Nick eludes us to the one of the flaws in Gatsby’s ideas of the future. That in order to live a full life we need to continue pushing through the past and creating new expectations for the upcoming future. If one stops to rethink and relive in the past than the present and future is already lost. Gatsby is ever blinded by his idea that his future can exist while he still lives in the past. He believes that there is a direct connection between the two. He is broken by this and it will haunt all that crossed his path through

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