The Modern Tragic Hero Of Gatsby British Literature Essay

In the book The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is a tragic hero because he displays the essential characteristics of modern tragic hero. He's a standard man, he contains the characteristics of an tragic flaw, and he eventually has a tragic land.

Although initially Gatsby may not seem to be the everyday man, the truth is he actually is. At one point Gatsby's history is being analyzed and his parents are described as "shiftless and unsuccessful plantation people" which shows the viewers that he originated from humble roots and was exactly like everybody else (Fitzgerald 95). He was not born into prosperity and privilege and did not have any special record that provided him an edge over others. Another illustration where Gatsby is portrayed as the average man is when Nick is speaking about Gatsby's history and he says, "So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old youngster would be likely to invent"(Fitzgerald 95). This demonstrates the persona that Gatsby has created for himself is that of any average, immature guy. As the book progresses further you discover Nick recounting Gatsby's past and explaining him as being a "penniless young man" which again shows the audience that Gatsby is absolutely just the common man with a major goal (Fitzgerald 141). This declaration helps take away some of the disguise of riches and overwhelming ability, and brings him into a more human perspective.

Gatsby's tragic flaw is the fact his view of the world is obstructed by his own naive idealism. It is very clear to the audience that Gatsby is idealistic when, while Nick has ended at Gatsby's house, he displays on Daisy's and Gatsby's romantic relationship and he notes, "There will need to have been occasions when Daisy tumbled less than his dreams because of the colossal vitality of his illusion"(Fitzgerald 92). This implies that even Nick, his best ally and the one which sticks up for Gatsby the most, perceives that Gatsby perceives Daisy to be ideal and perfect. Gatsby does not see things as they really are and expects them to play out exactly as he thinks they'll. A good example of this is when Nick is talking to Gatsby after a party and he explains to Gatsby that he can't duplicate days gone by, and Gatsby responds, "'Can't replicate days gone by?'. 'Why of course you can!'" (Fitzgerald 106). This delusion, that he is able to repeat days gone by and redo everything, blinds Gatsby from what is going on right in front of him. It appears as though he will not realize how absurd the idea of obtaining Daisy love is. Gatsby's idealism also blinds him to how Daisy really functions and what her personality is similar to. A good example of this is seen in the imagery of the book. Throughout the novel white is used as imagery for 100 % pure and innocent, while yellowish represents corruption. A daisy has white petals and a yellowish center. This imagery relates because it shows how Gatsby perceives Daisy. All he recognizes is a beautiful, loving woman who is in love with him back and he cannot see past his own idealistic view of the perfect Daisy to the corrupt, shallow, money-loving Daisy. Another exemplory case of Gatsby's frustrating idealism is his own self perception. Gatsby believes so long as he surrounds himself with riches and the rich, that people will accept him and they can erase his previous self; Gatsby the indegent farm youngster. This shows how he is idealistic because regardless of what a person will, the former self will always be there. Later in the book when Nick is reflecting on Gatsby's idea of Daisy he notes, "He wanted little or nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: 'I never liked you. '" (Fitzgerald 105). This notion is not a genuine expectation because Daisy has already been hitched and has a family group to take care of; also her faith inhibits her from obtaining a divorce and marrying him. Each one of these are factors block Gatsby from obtaining his ideal desire, but he seems to be blind to them.

Although Gatsby's physical land starts near the end of novel, his spiritual street to redemption arguably begins before you even meet him. In the center of the book you listen to about Gatsby's history and exactly how he was an unhealthy average man, but he was genuine and performed hard. As the novel progresses you hear about his relationship with Daisy and exactly how it finished because he was not wealthy enough. He had a need to become rich so that Daisy would marry him. To acquire this prosperity Gatsby started to participate in dishonest and unlawful deeds such as bootlegging. This shows a fall season spiritually because he moves against his morals and prices. Closer to the end of the book, after Daisy kills Myrtle in car crash, you learn that Gatsby will need the blame for Myrtles loss of life. Although this is a show of love for Daisy, it is eventually what leads him to his physical downfall. Through the entire book you are shown images of Gatsby ornamented by a myriad of wealthy and top quality people, and it seems as though he has many friends. However, at Gatsby's funeral at the very end of the book when Gatsby is shot and killed, there may be no-one there except for a go for few. This image is employed very well because it shows how the mighty have fallen. The one person everyone thought had it all, in reality has nothing at all; no money, no love no friends.

Gatsby is a perfect exemplory case of a modern tragic hero because he comes with an eventual tragic land, he displays certain characteristic that presents that he has tragic flaw in case you look beyond his riches, you will see that he was just common man with a major dream.

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