Success In The Great Gatsby

1022 Words5 Pages
For me, success has always been in black and white. I create a picture of what I want in my head, work towards that goal, and if I fall short of it, I am left in a place of distress. This mindset is similar to that of Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby paints a picture of success in his mind, and in order to make this picture a reality, he escapes his past and accumulates money through illegal business to live a wealthy lifestyle. Though my pursuit of perfection is not as insatiable as his, I resonate with his desire to live the life he wants. Despite my ability to resonate with him, his actions have made me question my definition of success, and wonder if my black and white definition could have a hidden gray area…show more content…
Despite my ability to find myself within Gatsby’s persona regarding success, Cisneros’ ability to find a gray area between success and failure challenges me to embrace the imperfections I face in my everyday life.
I heavily identify with Gatsby’s ravenous thirst for prosperity, as I too strive to create a good future for myself. This mindset has caused me to create a defined line between success and failure. Creating such a defined line has to lead me to feel a constant pressure in succeeding at everything I do, in my relationships, academics, and future goals. This way of thinking is similar to that of Gatsby’s, as he has seen success through a one-track mind. As a young boy growing up in rural North Dakota, he wistfully observed the glamorous lifestyle of the elite and dedicated his younger life to becoming a part of this glamor. Within his busy farm-boy schedule, he managed to embed tasks of sophistication such as practicing “elocution, poise, and how to attain it”, and reading “one improving book or magazine per week” (Fitzgerald 181-182). He creates these tasks to support the
…show more content…
When she was thrown into a situation in where she was told to make corn tortillas by her Latino hosts in France, Cisneros does not even know where to get started. Being put into a situation out of her comfort zone and feeling the pressure to succeed regardless, she felt like “the woman in the fairy tale who was locked in a room and ordered to spin straw into gold” (Cisneros 160). Feeling the pressure to do well, she managed to somehow make the tortillas, and despite their “crooked and burnt” nature, the hosts thought they were delicious (Cisneros 160). Despite the outcome of her work not being perfect, she later emphasizes on how she still felt success, as she “didn’t think [she] could do it. But [she] did” (Cisneros 160). Similarly, after my neck injury in volleyball, I had felt the same way as Cisneros, as I did not know how I was supposed to spin “gold” out of not being able to play for the season. What I failed to realize was that behind this so-called failure was joining the indoor track team, coaching middle school volleyball, and getting promoted to teach computer classes at the elderly home I volunteer at. So many new opportunities had opened up for me after what I thought was the end of the world, and I have established so many new connections and gained so many experiences from these opportunities. Now,
Open Document