Essay, Research Paper: Great Gatsby Hero Jay

Literature: The Great Gatsby

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The Mysterious Life of Jay Gatsby The story occurs some time during the
twenties, in a little rich branch off Long Island, New York in two neighborhoods
called East and West Egg. People often travel to and from the city by following
an old motor road in a place called the Valley of ashes, a swamp filled with
garbage and other rubbish where the poor and less fortunate live. It is unlike
East and West Egg because the city is surrounded by old and new wealth. These
wealthy people like to throw large extravagant parties showing off their great
fortune. For some this would be considered the American Dream, and although
during this period most of the public would list materialistic items as their
dreams, there are always those who will give it all up for a special love or
happiness. However those that try for something that can never be, are bound to
end up in destruction. In F. Scott. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, his wealthy
and mysterious character Jay Gatsby leads himself to his death with his
obsessive illusions and enduring hope. Jay Gatsby is wealthy and is accustomed
to getting what he wants. In this book he assumes his love, Daisy, will wait for
him while he is at war. To his surprise he finds that she is married to another
wealthy gentleman by the name of Tom Buchanan. Gatsby is blinded by his
egotistical beliefs. Although he is aware that she has wed he continues to
pursue her. He thinks often of her and believes her love for him will be
returned. “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way,
and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I
glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute
a far away, that might have been the end of a dock.” (p. 26) The green light
is the green glow coming from the dock at Daisy’s house, across the Manhasset
Bay. Gatsby’s neighbor, Nick who is a newly acquired bondsman out of Chicago,
helps Jay by inviting Daisy, who happens to be Nick’s second cousin, over for
a late lunch in an attempt to reunite Jay with Daisy. When she arrives at
Nick’s house, Gatsby is also there. Daisy is impressed and amazed at
Gatsby’s success. Gatsby becomes nervous and mute. Daisy has also become quite
anxious because she has no idea what to expect after five years of separation.
“His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct
mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at
Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.”
(P. 91) Nick realized that both Jay and Daisy are anxious and tries to help them
reunite. All was going well until Gatsby, Tom, Daisy, Nick, and Daisy’s
friend, Jordan, go for a ride into the city to get their mind off the sweltering
heat. They end up in a hotel and from there things begin to heat up. Gatsby,
being the narcissistic man he is, comes out and tells Tom what he believes Daisy
wants. “‘She never loved you, do you here?’ he cried. ‘She only married
you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible
mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!’” (P. 137)
Gatsby not allowing Daisy to speak in her favor, persists to rile up the
conversation “’Going on for five years—and you didn’t know…we
couldn’t meet. But both of us loved each other all that time, old sport, and
you didn’t know.’” (P. 138) Daisy finally speaks upon her behalf and tells
everyone what she thinks of all of this. “’I never loved him,’ she said,
with perceptible reluctance. ‘Not at Kapiolani?’ Demanded Tom suddenly.
‘No.’” (P. 139) Daisy says what she has to say and then they leave. Gatsby
takes her back to East Egg where she lives. He had let Daisy drive because he
felt that she needed to relieve some of her tension. Along the motor road
through the Valley of Ashes they encounter a lady running into the street as if
she wanted to tell them something. She was so tense that she stepped on the gas
as if she were slamming on her brake accelerating directly into the poor woman
and not even looking back. Gatsby tried to stop her but it was too late. He
cares for Daisy still, and he got Daisy to agree to say that he was driving the
car that hit the woman. He waited near her house when Tom arrived home so that
Tom wouldn’t harm Daisy over what she had said about her saying she never
loved Tom. “He wouldn’t consider it. He couldn’t possibly leave Daisy
until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I
couldn’t bear to shake him free” (P. 155) Gatsby has not given up on Daisy
yet and he would remain near Daisy’s home into the wee hours of the night. He
cared too much to see her get hurt. The woman who Daisy hit was Tom’s
mistress, Myrtle. Tom never found out who was actually driving the car, but
witnesses described a fancy, yellow, Rolls Royce. Tom found out about this, and
he mentioned Gatsby’s name to Myrtle’s husband, George, who was depressed
and anxious to believe that it was Jay Gatsby driving the car that hit Myrtle.
“What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him, he threw dust into
your eyes just like he did in Daisy’s but he was a tough. He ran over Myrtle
like you’d run over a dog and never even stopped his car.” (P. 187) It was
the worst thing Tom could do to Gatsby, because it would later result in the
death of Jay. Gatsby at last realized that he would never reunite with Daisy. He
began to become comfortable with his life and with his future. George,
continuing to grieve the loss of Myrtle, kills Gatsby and then himself. It is a
tragic ending to Gatsby’s mysterious life. It turns out Jay Gatsby wasn’t
even his real name. It was James Gatz, he changed it when he was 17, and from
that day forward he began living his exciting new life as a lie, and it ended in
destruction. However, Jay Gatsby will not be remembered for who he was in the
past, but for the man he was before he died, successful, hopeful, and caring. He
wasn’t a name he was a person, and that person was Jay Gatsby.
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