The Great Gatsby The Flawed Narrator Essay

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The Great Gatsby, The Flawed Narrator Essay, Research Paper In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the question arises of whether the American dream is possible or impossible. Jay Gatsby searches for this dream throughout his life and it ultimately leads to his death. The search started at a young age as we see when Gatsby?s father shows Nick a copy of Hopalong Cassidy, which contains the resolutions made by James Gatz for his self-improvement. ?Jimmy was bound to get ahead (182).? These are the words of his father even after James left his family behind because they were poor. From boyhood to manhood we get our next look at Gatz and the development of his dream. The only thing that is known about Gatz?s life on Dan Cody?s yacht is what the narrator, Nick, tells us. It

was at this time that he began to remake himself, changing his name from James Gatz to Jay Gatsby. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God?a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that?and he must be about his Father?s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. (104) So even before he meets Daisy, the dream already starts off as being unworthy to the dreamer, Gatsby. After the adventures on the yacht, Gatsby gets cheated out of the money left to him by Dan Cody. The next change that occurs in Gatsby takes place in

Louisville. As a young officer in the army, he meets Daisy Fay. From this meeting ?? it is clear that the vague, inchoate dream alights on Daisy, and romantically transfigures her into a creature of Gatsby?s imagination? (Miller 169). Daisy rejects Gatsby simply because she is rich and he is poor. This seems to do nothing but motivate Gatsby to become successful and eventually win her over. Gatsby soon becomes obsessed with his dream of finding Daisy and winning her heart. ?Gatsby cannot distinguish time now from time past and future, nor right from wrong? (Stallman 159). He begins bootlegging in a string of drug stores, handling bonds from governmental bribes, and takes part in bigtime gambling. He loses sight of his moral character with his fascination of ?the dream.? These

illegal activities allow Gatsby to acquire millions; hence, he sets up his mansion at West Egg across the bay from Daisy. There was a green light at the end of Daisy?s dock that Gatsby could see. This green light may have been the smallest detail that Fitzgerald gives us but it seems to be the symbolization of the whole dream. As said by Nick it is ?the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us? (189). ?The green light might also represent to Gatsby a projection of his wishes: a signal to go ahead, to ?beat on? against the current,? to attempt so desperately with his ?unbroken series of successful gestures? the recapturing of that past which he can never attain? (Burnam 153). Gatsby reached out for the green light, which obviously represented Daisy. This was his dream

of hope towards having her. Five years later, Gatsby once again encounters Daisy. The action that took place at the beginning of the novel kept the fate of Gatsby?s dream alive. But we must agree with Nick and his view: ?There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his [Gatsby?s] dreams ? not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusions? (101). Nick tells Gatsby that he cannot repeat the past and Gatsby replies, ?Can?t repeat the past. Why of course you can!? (116). Nick makes the realization that Gatsby might be chasing something that was already gone. In the scene where Tom confronts Gatsby in the New York hotel room, Tom tells Daisy what his spies have learned about Gatsby?s activities. Remember this happens after