Examples Of Isolation In The Great Gatsby

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Gatsby Analytical Essay
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald has deftly woven dozens of themes and motifs throughout his relatively short novel The Great Gatsby. One theme that resonates in particular is that of isolation. This theme pervades the entire book, and without it, nothing in Gatsby’s world would be the same. Every character must realize that he or she isn’t capable of truly connecting with any other character in the book, or else the carelessness and selfishness that leads to so many of the book’s vital events would not exist. Fitzgerald develops the feeling of isolation and aloneness by his use of the motif of careless self-absorption, a behavior we see many characters exhibiting. The motif represents people’s concern with themselves, which,
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His relationship with her was shallow and short-lived, as she almost immediately chose security and money over what was supposed to be her ‘true love’ with Gatsby. The man then spends 5 years of his life chasing after her, amassing his own wealth and success (through dubious means) in order to be her equal, which is how he’s convinced himself he can get back what they once had. However, even once he’s got what he thinks he needs, he’s still isolated. He’s lonely in his palatial, monstrous estate: “’That huge place there?’ she cried pointing… ‘I love it but I don’t see how you live there all alone’” (Fitzgerald 90). He’s isolated at his parties, where everyone has heard of him but no one truly knows him: “’This is an unusual party for me. I haven’t even seen the host.’…’Who is he?’ [Nick] demanded. ‘Do you know?’ ‘He’s just a man named Gatsby’” (Fitzgerald 47-48). When he and Daisy finally reunite and rekindle their affair, she once again chooses Tom and abandons Gatsby, and he is once again just a single man, living alone with his thoughts, with no one to share his life with besides himself: “’Even alone I can’t say I never loved Tom,’ she admitted in a pitiful voice, ‘It wouldn’t be true’” (Fitzgerald 133). His selfish idealization of Daisy led to his loneliness, and ultimately to his…show more content…
His house was always full of partygoers, and yet after he’s gone only one friend cares to attend his funeral. Everyone knew of him, no one knew him. They were all using him for his money and his generosity and hospitality. They were all selfish. “’I couldn’t get to the house,’ he remarked. ‘Neither could anybody else.’ ‘Go on!’ He started. “Why, my God! They used to go there by the hundreds’” (Fitzgerald 175). Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald’s message is clear: beware false, empty, self-centered interactions, for they will most definitely lead to all-consuming aloneness. He says that it’s possible to feel the loneliest in a big crowd, and that the love you think you need may not be fulfilling after all. He teaches that everyone desires meaningful interactions with other humans, and that life means nothing without them. One can have it all, the American Dream: self-made wealth, status, women and men, the recognition of society, you name it, but if at the end of it all they still feel alone, none of it matters. Nick says during a revelation that his cardinal virtue is honesty, but Fitzgerald obviously disagrees: compassion is the one necessity over all

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