The Great Gatsby Hero's Journey Analysis

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Nick Carraway is a monomyth hero according to the ideologies of Joseph Campbell. Campbell describes a hero as someone who must, “put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.” In the novel, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nick Carraway must depart from a life he knows, and journey into the unknown, where he succumbs to a call of adventure. The challenges and ordeals he faces construct his character and lead him to challenge his integrity and morals. Over the course of his quest, he is transformed and later returns back to the land he knows. This heroic quest, or, The Hero’s Journey, illuminates how Nick Carraway is a true mythological hero. The first step of the Hero’s Journey…show more content…
There, conflict arises between Tom and Gatsby, and their world of fantasy becomes a world of rivalry and strife. In the midst of conflict, Myrtle Wilson is struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. Nick later learns this vehicle to have been driven by Daisy; however, Gatsby shoulders the blame. Nick’s morality is tried one last time, as he must decide whether or not to let Gatsby take the blame for such a horrible incident. Nick ultimately decides to leave Gatsby despite the previous knowledge he acquired. The new perspective he holds about the people around him indicates Nick’s, “transformation.” Once longing to be a part of the East, he states, “Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.” (176). Nick’s “transformation” exemplifies how his journey refined his views about those around him. He also transformed his view about Gatsby, declaring that, “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.” (154). Nick leaving the East to travel back to the Middle West indicates his, “Return.” After his journey to find success in the East, the hero returns home, fully transformed. According to Joseph Campbell’s ideas, Nick Carraway accurately represents a monomyth hero. He leaves his world of comfort behind to journey into the unknown, accepts a call of adventure, undergoes several tasks and trials that test his character, and ultimately ends his journey to return home. His dedication to his allies and diligence to his morality exemplify a true mythological
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