The Time of Gatsby's Life: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Essay by jagsacHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2006

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Everybody seems to have an obsession with time. People are always looking for a way to travel in time, or change what happened previously in time. Jay Gatsby, in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby", is one of these people. The whole novel is centered on the idea of the past, present and future. References to time occur all throughout the book, in varying forms, some hardly noticeable. Altogether, including compound words, the word "time" itself is mentioned 450 times in the story, signifying definite importance. Gatsby could not think about anything except for his past with Daisy, therefore ruining any chance he had with her later on, and ruining any chance of life for him. His dreams corrupted him, and in the end, killed him. He lived only for a cause that caused only his death.

Jay Gatsby, an idealist, was tormented by his love for Daisy. He was consumed completely by it.

He yearned for the love that they had in the past, to the extent of wanting to not only to return to the love that they had for each other, but to completely erase the past five years. His view of Daisy is a perfect, possibly Platonic, conception, like he pictured Jay Gatsby to be when he created his other self. After they kiss, though, the relationship starts to decay, but not according to Gatsby's perspective. Gatsby had an immeasurable standard for Daisy to live up to, which she, of course, could not do. As Robert Stallman put it in his article, "Conrad and the Great Gatsby", "Though Gatsby trades on time and bargains with the clock, he never trades on the dream that possesses him" (Stallman 7). Nick says, after Gatsby is killed, "Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon...