Critical essay on the "Great Gatsby" by Fitzgeralds

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 1993

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The quote 'material without being real' shows the

emptiness of an existence with the realization of a

tainted ideal. Fittingly, this quote from Nick is placed

after Daisy leaves Gatsby. Nick is imagining what Gatsby

would be thinking if he had understood that the goal,

winning Daisy and her materialistic insubstantiality, was

unworthy of his effort. Fitzgerald does not specifically

state if Gatsby is or is not waiting for the phone call

from Daisy. If Gatsby has realized that Daisy will not

call, then he has undergone the self-recognition of the

tragic hero. If he is waiting for the phone call, then he

is still holding on to his idealized goal. While this

shows that he is holding onto the part of his life:

that which marked his personality as more substantial

Daisy's personality, it also illustrates the futility of

reaching for a corrupted goal.

Many Americans today may lack the motivation of Jay

Gatsby in the quest for his 'pure' dream.

Their existence

is strictly materialistic. Such individuals view the

purpose of education not as serving to perfect of one's

intellect, but to secure a job. Every day they perform

the same dull and tedious routine, their only goal being

the receipt of a paycheck which they will redeem

ultimately for social status. Some do have dreams, and to

their life is added new meaning through the reaching for a

goal. It is this reaching, the gaining of enjoyable and

constructive experience, which gives purpose to their work

that diminishes the monotony of their daily existence.

Whereas the straight materialists will eventually spend

their 'dream,' the experience that a 'reacher' gains

cannot be taken away.