The Anatomy Of Criticism 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…
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 the house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.” His entire presence- the house, the money, the luxurious parties, and the careless wealth, was all constructed in a way to catch Daisy’s attention. Despite the fact that it may seem that Gatsby is a careless person who just spends money for his enjoyment and pleasure, there is a bigger picture, he is stuck in the past and can not overcome the weakness. The moments spent with Daisy were the few happy moments of Gatsby’s life, so it is an

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