Great Gatsby Selfish

512 Words3 Pages
In the beginning of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Nick perceives Jay Gatsby as a mysterious yet typical rich man. Nick’s limited knowledge of Gatsby leads him to view Gatsby by his belongings, as he refers to Gatsby’s mansion as “a mansion… inhabited by a gentleman of that name” (5). However, building a relationship with Gatsby, Nick quickly distinguishes Gatsby’s personality from that of the typical rich man in 1920’s New York. Therefore, despite the dubious source of his wealth, the reader discerns Gatsby as “great” because of his extreme generosity, remarkable attitude and motivation, and everlasting love for Daisy. Unlike other rich West- and East-Egg citizens, Gatsby uses his wealth to benefit others and offer them opportunities.…show more content…
Unlike Tom’s harsh and closed attitude, Gatsby’s initial impressions on others warm them greatly. Upon speaking with Gatsby, Nick notices that Gatsby’s smile “[is] one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you many come across four or five times in life” (48). This leads Nick to further differentiate Gatsby from Tom and his friends. Furthermore, Tom “had changed since his New Haven years,” as societal expectations govern his actions, forcing him to distance himself from his past happiness and attitude (7). However, Gatsby yearns to return to his past, as he asserts that “of course [one] can… repeat the past” (110). Not only does this demonstrate Gatsby’s will to improve and live his dreams, but also he takes action on these desires, as he “[is] going to fix everything” to make himself - and others - happy (110). Lastly, from a young age, Gatsby exhibits his intention to better his mind and attitude. In the notes Gatsby’s father shows Nick after his death, Gatsby writes that he must “be better to (his) parents” and “read one improving book or magazine per week” (173). Therefore, Gatsby’s kindness to others, attitude, and motivation further mask many worries about his past
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