The Importance Of Ambition In The Great Gatsby

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The question of whether ambition is positive or negative is a debate that is still discussed to present day. Ambition is almost always the downfall or the rising of a person. It is the drive to want to accomplish the things that might seem out of reach. The author of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote about the lives of a few very wealthy characters who thrived in the 1920’s, some as a result of said ambition. Christopher Beha responded to the novel with a quote stating that the novel was about the impossibility of self-invention and the childness of a hope being delivered in adulthood that was once held in adolescence. The Great Gatsby is widely thought to be a novel about “the glamour of adulthood, the romance of self-invention, …show more content…
However, although very rare and hard to accomplish in this novel, it is entirely possible to self-invent yourself. The protagonists in this novel are glorified, very wealthy people. They, Gatsby in particular, have been described as gorgeous people, when in reality they are prejudice, violent, sexist, and no better than any other average person. Not only are they flawed like every other average person, but they are rotted by their wealth as they have a sense of superiority over everyone else, even Nick. Tom, Nick, and Daisy have expressed their blatant racism, Tom as physically hit people a couple of times, and Daisy, a woman, has talked about wanted her daughter to be a fool because “that 's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool” (17). The majority of the book could be quoted supporting why these people are very ugly inside, and yet all of this is overlooked because of their “glamorous” lifestyles. There is no beauty in the “glamour of adulthood” in The Great Gatsby, if anything the adulthood of the characters is the installation of every horrible quality that they possess and have no intention of getting rid of because once you reach a certain age it is very hard to change even with motivation. These characters show no …show more content…
This claim has very little basis, mostly because the only glimpse of any adolescent years that are present in the novel are Gatsby’s years. Gatsby’s “childish hope” is something that I would just call ambition. For a hope to be childish, it has to be foolish or unattainable and I do not believe that striving to be successful and wealthy is foolish or unattainable. Gatsby attained an education and worked for his wealth, what would make his aspirations childish is if he wanted to be rich, but did not put the effort in. There are many goals that could be achieved by people if they believed that they could actually do it. This mindset that one’s dreams, hopes, or wants are merely childish is what lands people in a dead end, ill-paying job that you are not passionate about. I agree that it is childish to expect a wish to just automatically come true out of nowhere with no effort put into it, but in this novel Gatsby, the only one with an adolescence that is explained in the book, worked for what he has. The second part of Beha’s quote states that such a longing for these objects, if you agree that the book is presenting this, is holding people back from moving themselves toward their future

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