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The Great Gatsby Essay

666 words - 3 pages

507561
Mr. Woodard
English Lit
13 October 2008
Living the Past in the Present
First time riding a bike. Graduating from college. Skydiving. Memorable past events mold a person’s present figure. Paramount past events in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald create Gatsby’s attitude and present actions towards various characters throughout the novel. Living in the past, Gatsby’s goals and aspirations are difficult to be achieved in the present. Even with his wealthy stature he is still unhappy that he doesn’t have everything he wants. Gatsby’s present actions and attitudes are strongly influenced by past incidents which contributes to the meaning of the themes in the novel.
In the novel, Gatsby’s central goal is to be with his lover Daisy who is unfortunately still married to the wealthy prick, Tom Buchanan. Gatsby and Daisy’s love was shattered when Daisy’s parents would not accept Gatsby as a ...view middle of the document...

Gatsby’s was devastation of Daisy’s rejection pushed him to make money and then show it off to receive attention from her. When he actually does make contact with her in the novel he wears a bright gold and silver suit—obviously symbolizing his present financial situation. When Gatsby has his money its almost like he’s lost his ability to pick up women. He got together with Daisy and had a strong relationship with her without money but it seems like he is struggling more to get back with her no having the money. The past negatively affected Gatsby by making it more awkward and difficult for him to talk to Daisy who he used to have a strong relationship with. He was motivated to become a person that wasn’t truly him by horrible experience.
Gatsby’s motivation to become rich fast from past events conveys a theme that Fitzgerald saw in his time period. The roaring twenties were notorious for people to break out of traditions and to “make it big” in cities like New York. Gatsby’s story to achieve Daisy’s love is a clear example of a common goal people had in the twenties. His expensive car was an example of what people of the time period wanted as a luxury and that new technologies were the popular items. Furthermore, Gatsby’s dance parties illustrate the liveliness and excitement of the twenties, especially the new music Jazz. Also all of the exciting parties and expensive merchandise that Gatsby had came after he went to war. After WWI, America did become more of an exciting place with new technologies and new values. The fast pace world of the 20s is portrayed when Gatsby dies at an early age in an irrational way. Gatsby’s experience created from past events throughout the novel express the overall tone of the 1920s after WWI.
Experiences that are memorable can be cause for present values and actions. The novel told a story about a man which was a common example of peoples’ ambitions of the 1920s. The past incidents in Gatsby’s life negatively affected his present values and behaviors. His drive to become rich eventually ended up backfiring his life goals. Trying to relive the past only made living in the present more difficult for Gatsby to bear.

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