The Great Gatsby Quote Analysis

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The quote by Lao Tzu states that a person who knows others is knowledgeable as they can understand them, their actions and their motivations. The quote also states that understanding one’s own self is even more important and beneficial, as it allows one to be ‘enlightened.’ Being ‘enlightened’ refers to having the knowledge and ability to surpass judgement and misinformation. This suggests that knowing one’s own self, and having formed an identity, means that not only is a person able to understand their own self, but can also better judge others. It may also indicate that the person who knows himself is less liable themselves to be affected by the judgements of others. Although in the various texts studied, these ideas may not be stated explicitly, one can consider the implications. In the novel The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, the protagonist is Jay Gatsby. However, the sentiments of the quotation are not only pertinent to him, but also the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway. To begin with, Nick…show more content…
Even Nick states that Gatsby’s view seems to be fantastical. Gatsby believes that he is loved by Daisy, and his distorted self-perception on this issue causes him to convince himself that she feels the same way, and that she wishes to leave Tom. This is shown to be untrue as Daisy eventually leaves with Tom, and does not appear to mourn Gatsby’s death, for she did not have the same need to recover the past as he did. Gatsby’s delusions and inability to reason with his sense of self and motivations cause him to misinterpret those around him, and this is comparable to the sentiments of Lao Tzu’s quotations, because his inability to understand himself and others causes conflict between the characters. Gatsby is unable to become ‘enlightened’ and free himself from his false
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