Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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Doesn’t it always seem as though rich and famous people are larger- than-life
and virtually impossible to touch, almost as if they were a fantasy? In The
Great Gatsby, set in two wealthy communities, East Egg and West Egg, Fitzgerald
describes Gatsby as a Romantic, larger- than-life, figure by setting him apart
from the common person. Fitzgerald sets Gatsby in a fantasy world that, based on
illusion, is of his own making. Gatsby’s possessions start to this illusion.
He lives in an extremely lavish mansion. “It is a factual imitation of some
Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin
beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool, and more than forty acres of lawn
and garden.” It models an extravagant castle with a European style. Indoors it
has “Marie Antoinette music- rooms and restoration salons.” There is even a
“Merton College Library, paneled with imported carved English oak and
thousands of volumes of books.” There is even a private beach on his property.
He also has his own personal hydroplane. Gatsby also drives a highly
imaginative, “circus wagon”, car that “everybody had seen. It is a rich
cream color with nickel and has a three-noted horn.” It has a “monstrous
length with triumphant hat-boxes, supper-boxes, tool-boxes, and terraced with a
labyrinth of windshields and a green leather conservatory.” Other than
Gatsby’s possessions, he develops his personal self. His physical self
appearance sets him apart form the other characters. His smile is the type
“that comes across four or five times in life. One of those rare smiles with a
quality of eternal reassurance in it.” He has a collection of tailored shirts
from England. They are described as “shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and
fine flannel.” He has shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and
apple-green and la- vender and faint orange, with monograms of Indian blue.”
Gatsby wears a unique “gorgeous pink rag of a suit” that sets him apart as a
“bright spot.” Gatsby’s mannerisms are different too. He gives the
“strong im- pression that he picks his words with care.” Gatsby is an
“elegant young roughneck whose elaborate formality of speech just misses being
absurd.” Gatsby also has a particularly distinct phrase which is “old
sport.” Further, at his parties he stands apart from the other people. Unlike
everyone else, he does not drink any alcohol. Also, there are no young ladies
that lay their head on his shoulder and he doesn’t dance. During his parties
he either sits alone or stands on his balcony alone, apart from everyone else.
Gatsby even creates himself a false personal history that is unlike anyone
else’s in order to give him the appearance of having old money. He says that
he is the son of a wealthy family in the Middle West, San Francisco, and he was
educated at Oxford. Sup- posedly after his family had all died he “lived like
a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe collecting jewels, hunting big game,
painting and doing things for himself.” During the war he was apparently a
promoted major that every Allied government gave a decoration to.” However,
the medal he received looked to be either fake or borrowed. The fantasy world
that Fitzgerald gives Gatsby also ends with parties that are practically like
movie-like productions. These parties are so fantastic that they last from
Friday nights to Monday mornings. His house and garden is decorated with
thousands of colored lights, “enough to make a Christmas tree of his enormous
garden.” “Buffet tables are garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre,
spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs
and turkeys be- witched to a dark gold.” He has famous singers that entertain
his guests whom are the most well known and richest people. There is an
orchestra with “oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and
pic- colos and low and high drums.” People do not even have to be invited to
come to his parties. Car loads of people arrive at his celebrations. Movie
directors, actresses and many celebrities attend his extravagan- zas. All these
things make his parties well known by everyone. As I said in the beginning , he
is portrayed by Fitzgerald as a larger-than- life figure. Apart from the fantasy
world of Gatsby, Fitzgerald also invest his quest with a religious motif. The
author describes him as a wor- shipper of his “holy” love, Daisy Buchanan.
The promise is that he will be with her again. He devotes his life to trying to
get Daisy back into his life by first becoming rich and then by getting her
attention with his possessions and parties. He even builds his house directly
across the bay and facing the Buchanan’s house. Gatsby is also likened to a
chivalric knight. His outrageous car may be paralleled to a great white horse of
a knight. His quest for Daisy is identical to the quest of medieval knights who
sought the Holy Grail. At night he stands out in front of his house with his
“arms Stretched out” toward Daisy’s green dock light. Comparable to a
knight’s watchfulness, Gatsby also stays at Daisy’s window all night staring
at the light trying to protect her from Tom and watching over her.

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