Role Of Heroism In The Great Gatsby

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The Tragedy of Gatsby
Aristotle said, “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” A tragic hero, as defined by Aristotle, must have a flaw or error of judgement, and a reversal of fortune must occur because of the hero’s error. The character’s fate is ultimately greater than deserved, and the audience recognizes that the hero was responsible for his own downfall, leading to feelings of empathy for the character (Donovan). In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby can be viewed as a tragic hero because his tendencies to lie and deceive others, as well as himself, cost him greatly in the end. Jay Gatsby’s life was built on a foundation of lies. He fabricated a history for himself that began with him changing his name. He was born James Gatz in North Dakota to parents who were unsuccessful farmers. As a teenager Gatsby, then still Gatz, worked as a clam digger and salmon fisherman. Eventually he would try college for a few short weeks but then returned to Lake Superior to continue fishing for a living. This is where he met Dan Cody who would introduce him to a whole new way of life. This enabled Jimmy Gatz to reinvent himself as Jay Gatsby. Mary McAleer Balkun wrote, “As a young man, ...a universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain. Unwilling to face the
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“Fitzgerald makes us suspect that Gatsby, … is not deceived altogether by his own dreaming … Gatsby seems to grasp that Daisy is his fiction” (Bloom 11). Perhaps this is why Gatsby does not seem too concerned about convincing others of his lies, because he can see through the lies he tells to himself. Of course, that does not change the fact that he allows the deception to control his life and results in his willingness to lie for Daisy. If he had not let everyone believe that he was driving the car that hit Myrtle, then George would not have killed

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