The Role Of Heroism In The Great Gatsby

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Jay Gatsby is a dream of James Gatz, a boy who grew up in an impoverished family and had an ill-defined past in rural North Dakota. Since his childhood, James resented poverty and wanted to be wealthy and prosperous- something that he would achieve later in his life, but would never enjoy. The path to richness is full of disappointments and misfortunes, but even after reaching the goal, some never acquire the desired happiness. Northrop Frye, one of the most influential literary critics of the twentieth century and the author of Anatomy of Criticism, discusses many aspects of a tragic hero in his essay “Tragic Fictional Modes.” Many of Frye’s ideas can be applied to the tragic protagonist of Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, James Gatz,…show more content…
On the inside, Gatsby is the same boy who does not know what to do with his life, but on the outside, he is a lavish man, who throws sumptuous parties which attract hundreds of people. Despite having thousands of acquaintances, Gatsby is lonely and has only a few loyal friends. He is “broken by a conflict between [imagination] and reality” (TFM, page 39); he wants Daisy back and tries to assure himself that it is possible to repeat the past, but deep inside he understands that nothing in this world can reunite him and his first and only love. Gatsby does everything imaginable to prevent the bitter reality, and he tries to avoid the painful truth by living in a sugary dream and never stops hoping. Although many people knew the “mysterious Gatsby,” (TGG, Chapter 3) attended his parties, and had fun, no one except for a few people show up to his funeral, when he is killed, in part due to Daisy. Thus, it can be inferred, that Gatsby’s acquaintances valued only Gatsby’s money and the fun they could get out of knowing him- they only accepted his outer world, which is represented by his expensive and luxurious parties. The society never accepted his inner world, which is as simple as of any other common person. When taking Daisy on a tour of his luxury and expensive mansion, Gatsby shows her his bedroom- the “simplest room of…show more content…
When Gatsby was a little boy, he grew up in poor conditions, which led to the hatred he always felt towards poverty. Since his childhood, Gatsby’s main goal was to become wealthy, whatever the cost or the aftermath would be. He was a dreamer, and money was his American Dream. However, as a young adult, his goals (and life) radically changed. Gatsby met his first and only love, Daisy. Since that moment, Gatsby’s life “[has] been confused and disordered” (TGG, page 18). The book’s narrator, Nick Carraway, tells the reader that if Gatsby could “once return to a […] starting place” (TGG, page 18) and relive his life slowly, Gatsby would be able to find what had “disordered” his life. Despite all the promises, she betrayed Gatsby and married Tom Buchanan, one of the wealthiest men in the United States at the time. After Gatsby returned to Daisy, in five years, he felt really disappointed and betrayed; this is what let to the increased desire to become wealthy. All the planning was with one single purpose in mind- to get Daisy back from Tom Buchanan. Consequently, Gatsby earned much of the money just to get the “nice girl.” And even though, Gatsby did want to become wealthy since he was a kid, much of what he did was focused on one specific target. In Chapter four of The Great Gatsby, the reader is struck with the fact that it is not a coincidence that Gatsby “bought
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