And to be precise, a tragedy is a dramatic play, or more recently any work of literature, that treats sorrowful events caused or witnessed by a great hero with dignity and seriousness.
The tragic hero also has a reversal of fortune, often going from a high place in terms of society, money, and status to a ruined one. In that sense, Gatsby is more of a playful riff on the idea of a tragic hero, someone who is doomed from aiming too high and from trusting too much. Instead, Nick seems to indict the society around Gatsby for the tragedy, not Gatsby himself. On the surface in Gatsby, we see a man doing whatever it takes to win over the woman he loves Daisy.
He even seems willing to sacrifice everything to protect her by taking the blame for Myrtle's death. However, he ends up killed for his involvement in the affair while Daisy skips town to avoid the aftermath. This can make it look like Gatsby loves Daisy truly while Daisy doesn't love him at all. However, the truth is much more complicated. Gatsby claims to love Daisy, but he rarely takes into account her own feelings or even the fact that five years have passed since their first romance and that she's changed.
In fact, he's so determined to repeat the past that he is unable to see that Daisy is not devoted to him in the way he thinks she is. Furthermore, Gatsby seems to love Daisy more for what she represents -- money, status, beauty -- than as an actual, flawed human being.
Either way, there are certainly strong feelings on both sides. I don't think you could argue Daisy never loved Gatsby or Gatsby never loved Daisy, but their relationship is complex and uneven enough that it can raise doubts. Read more about love and relationships in Gatsby for more analysis! But why does Gatsby come to rely on Nick so much? The cherry on top of this is the fact Nick is related to Daisy, and is thus a link to her Gatsby can use. So Gatsby starts confiding in Nick to get closer to Daisy, but continues because he finds Nick to be a genuine friend — again, something he severely lacks, as his poor funeral attendance suggests.
Recently, some scholars have argued that another possible layer of The Great Gatsby is that Gatsby is actually part black, but passing as white. You can read more about it here and decide for yourself if you believe it! There are also similar theories that argue that Gatsby is Jewish. You can read one such theory in depth here. This was all during the s, when bootlegging and organized crime were in their heyday.
So he certainly could have been inspired by real life, newly-rich celebrities. Finally, and perhaps most potently, Fitzgerald himself went through a Gatsby-like heartbreak. Before he married Zelda Sayre, he was in love with a wealthy woman named Ginevra King. A dark-haired beauty, Ginevra went on to marry a wealthy man, leaving F.
Scott Fitzgerald behind and heartbroken. You can also read more about F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and the history of the novel's composition. Still confused about how the last few chapters play out? Catch up with our summaries of chapters 7 , 8 , and 9. Is he a man to be admired or a cautionary tale of someone who put too much stock in an old love? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.
Download it for free now:. Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.
You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:. How to Get a Perfect , by a Perfect Scorer. Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? He takes a liking to young James Gatz and offers him a job. After Cody dies, Gatsby joins the army and is stationed in Louisville, Kentucky, where he meets and falls in love with Daisy Fay, the most popular and wealthy young lady in town.
She is also attracted to him and even thinks about marrying him and running away, but her parents stop her plans. When Gatsby is sent to Europe to fight the war, Daisy is faithful to him for a short while. She soon, however, tires of waiting for Gatsby and marries Tom Buchanan. When Gatsby receives her final letter, explaining her plans, he is crushed; he vows he will dedicate the rest of his life to winning Daisy back for himself.
Gatsby comes to the East Coast and makes a fortune in bootlegging and other questionable business activities due to the help of characters such as Meyer Wolfsheim. He buys an ostentatious mansion on West Egg, in order to be directly across the bay from Daisy Buchanan. She has become his reason for being - his holy grail. When the story begins, Nick Carraway has moved in next door to him.
Gatsby befriends the young man and then learns that he is a distant cousin of Daisy Buchanan. He persuades Nick to have both Daisy and him for tea. Although the level of their involvement is not indicated in the book, Gatsby does say she often comes to his house, and she kisses him on the mouth when her husband walks out of the room.
He also naively believes that he will lure Daisy away from Tom and erase her past life with her husband. Nobody from Nowhere and accuses him of not going to Oxford and making his money illegally.
Daisy half-heartedly comes to his aid, encouraging Gatsby into a foolish confrontation. He tells her husband that Daisy has always loved him and never loved Tom; he even forces Daisy to repeat the words to her husband, which she says with no sincerity. When Tom questions her about whether she can really forget all of their memories, she admits she cannot.
She turns to Gatsby and says that she loves him now and that should be enough. It is not enough, however, for Gatsby, for it destroys his dream.
Tom knows that he has won the battle; Daisy will always be his wife. Daisy insists to Gatsby that she drive in order to calm her nerves. Daisy hits the woman, killing her immediately. The shallow, careless, immoral Daisy does not even stop. At this point in the novel, Gatsby begins to show his true worth. He tells Daisy to stop and return to the accident, but she refuses.
He has already made the decision that he will pretend he was driving all along and take the blame for the accident.
He is still blinded by his dream and unable to see that Daisy is not worthy of any sacrifice. She fully proves this when she returns home and casually eats fried chicken and drinks ale, while conspiring with her husband how to stay out of the limelight. The next day Daisy vanishes from sight. But she never calls. She has casually and selfishly washed her hands of the whole matter. Tom, for example, starts his affair with Myrtle by pressing himself against her on a train platform - basically, his version of flirting is bodily assault.
Despite the fact that both are unimaginably rich, these men come from totally different sides of the big money divide. At the same time, Gatsby is the most successful of the novel's many ambitious social climbers, using his lack of ethical scruples to parlay his criminal activity into a higher social status. He is physically aggressive and uses his body to threaten and intimidate Nick, for one, is clearly very cowed by Tom's bulk.
He is also quick to violence, whether it's socially sanctioned - like his football accomplishments - or not - like when he breaks Myrtle's nose without a second thought. Still, whether he is offering Nick some illegal bond trading action, or showing off his get-out-of-a-ticket-free card to a cop on the highway, Gatsby is clearly happy to be in control of a situation.
Tom and Gatsby both seem to be in love with Daisy. But what does that really mean to each of them? For Tom, Daisy is clearly partly appealing because she completes his horse-riding, East Egg, thousand-dollar pearl necklace lifestyle. He cheats on her because he clearly has never denied himself anything, but he also understands Daisy as a person.
He knows that she is too weak to leave him, but he also loves her enough to tolerate her affair with Gatsby and to stay with her after Myrtle's murder. Gatsby's love, on the other hand, is in some ways purer because he so idealizes Daisy and connects her to all of his other hopes and dreams.
But this love is overly pure - he doesn't really seem to know Daisy as anything other than an idealized object, and is incapable of accepting that she has led a life apart from him for five years. Feel free to take these at face value or as jumping-off points for your own thoughts. Gatsby gives new meaning to letting perfect be the enemy of the good. Where Tom is strong and cowering, George is meek and shrinking.
Tom exudes power and confidence while George tends to just fade into the background. These differences are borne out in the way these two men interact with the world. Nick compares the two men in a memorable description:. I stared at him and then at Tom, who had made a parallel discovery less than an hour before--and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well.
Wilson was so sick that he looked guilty, unforgivably guilty--as if he had just got some poor girl with child" 7. But, while it seems that Tom does fundamentally understand Daisy and is right about her unwillingness to leave their marriage, George is unable to hold on to Myrtle either emotionally or physically.
She is killed trying to run away from him. Argue the reverse of any of these topics for a really provocative essay! Perhaps it shouldn't be surprised that the meeker man turns out to be the ultraviolent one. The fact that they are introduced in tandem, both lying on the couches in their white dresses, speaks to their initially similar attitudes.
But soon we see how different their takes on this kind of life are. More significantly, Daisy is incredibly self-absorbed while Jordan is very observant. But in any case, as we watch Daisy struggle in her marriage, what we see of Jordan is cool, calm, collected, and rather uncaring. With those strategies in mind, here are some potential arguments you could argue for or against!
Today I cheated at golf yet again! But it was nothing compared to what my friend Daisy did While Daisy Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson obviously come from very different backgrounds and have conflicting motivations, they also have some surprising similarities. Daisy and Myrtle both derive power from their looks.
Throughout the novel, Myrtle is frequently reduced to being just a body - one to be used or violated by those around her. Meanwhile, Daisy's voice also serves to make her less of a person in her own right and more of an idealized, mythic figure from fairy tales. For Gatsby, Daisy's voice is appealing because it is "full of money" 7.
Myrtle puts on the airs that Daisy has been born and raised with. This allows Myrtle to wield considerable social power within her group, as seen by how her guests fawn on her at the Manhattan party she throws. Daisy, in contrast, never exerts such overt power over a group — rather, she seems to move with crowds, doing what it expected of her for instance marrying Tom despite still loving Gatsby.
Daisy and Tom are able to stay together even through serial affairs and murder. Daisy wants to get away from an increasingly unhappy marriage and try to recapture the spontaneity and possibility of her youth, while Myrtle loves the status that her affair with Tom grants her.
Get free homework help on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire: to be reunited with Daisy Buchanan, the love he lost .
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Great Gatsby: Character analysis Essay Character analysis Daisy Buchanan Daisy is a beautiful young woman originally from Louisville, Kentucky. At first we know her as Nick’s cousin and later on find out she’s the object of Gatsby, his determination in getting wealthy just to impress her. The Character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby Essays Words | 3 Pages The novel begins with Nick Carraway, a young man from Minnesota and the narrator od this novel, moves to New York in the summer of to learn more about bond business.
Jay Gatsby Character Analysis If you read The Great Gatsby, odds are you will have to write at least one paper that analyzes Gatsby as a character or connects him to a larger theme, like money, love, or the American Dream. In his novel "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald creates a main character that catches the attention of his readers. This character surrounds himself with expensive belongings and wealthy people and goes by the name of Jay Gatsby. He is the protagonist who gives the name to the story.