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The Great Gatsby - Jay Gatsby's Greatness

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.3 
  • Words: 1471
  • Essay Grade: 3,00 /5 (2 Graders)
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The greatness of an individual can be defined in terms far beyond tangible accomplishments. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby’s greatness comes from his need to experience success and his will to achieve his dreams. Nick Carraway narrates the story, and his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, is Gatsby’s love. Daisy, however, is married to Tom Buchanan, a wealthy, arrogant womanizer who despises Gatsby. Gatsby feels the need to be successful and wealthy, and his participation in a bootlegging operation allows him to acquire the wealth and social status needed to attract Daisy. In his narration, Nick focuses on Gatsby’s fixation of Daisy and how he longs for her presence in his life. Gatsby’s greatness comes from his power to dream, his competence in turning dreams into reality, and his absolute love for Daisy.

In The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby uses his dreams as motivation for his existence. Fitzgerald uses wealth and social status to define Gatsby’s character, which is exemplified by his lavish parties and the dignitaries who attend them. In his formative years, Gatsby was employed by a wealthy yachtsman, Dan Cody. It is from Cody that Gatsby develops his appreciation for wealth. “To young Gatz, resting on his oars, looking up at the railed deck, that yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world” (Fitzgerald 106). Fitzgerald uses this quote to mark the point at which Gatsby encounters wealth and power for the first time, and also, he uses it to symbolize Gatsby’s social standing and economic status. By comparing Gatsby’s rowboat with the luxurious yacht of Cody’s, Fitzgerald presents the idea that money and power translate into bigger and better things. The event is symbolic in that it illustrates Gatsby’s perception that wealth is a necessity. By saying that he was “looking up” to “all the beauty and glamour in the world,” Fitzgerald makes it evident that Gatsby idolized this lifestyle. Also, he shows...


Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. Quality over quantity.
    • Oct 16, 2007 - Evaluator: (perpetual_tempest)
    • Eloquence of expression is a key characteristic of good writing, yet for book reports, short, succinct sentences and concise expression of one's ideas are vital in order to reveal disciplined thought processes and effectively explain the significant elements of a plot. I've said this before, and I shall say it atleast once more. There was far too much story-telling. It is indeed possible to write a book review without giving much away. A book review is designed to intrigue the reader, not bore. What was particularly pleasing to me was the real sense of flair that emanates from this writer's piece. A sound job.
  2. Fluff
    • Apr 06, 2004 - Evaluator: (ben_dude70)
    • Any AP english teacher would tell you that this essay has way too much fluff in it. My teacher would give this essay a 6 at best and thats if she was in REALLY good mood. Eloquence and strong vocabulary are both good qualities seen in this essay, but it is not straight to the point. If I were going to use this essay i would definitely modify it and take out some of the unnecesary background information.