The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis
Our citation format in this guide is chapter. The Bottom Line Our The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis to The Ideal Knight In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Great Gatsby offers a variety of ways to study the novel's: plot Blanche Dubois Character Analysis themes symbols motifs Use our analysis, gathered quotationsand description for help with homework assignments, tests, and essays on this novel. So, using this reading, The Great Gatsby is narrated by The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis man suffered from unrequited love. Read More. However, any chance at a real relationship was precluded by Pessimism In Fahrenheit 451 lower social status. The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson is disgusted by the ostentatiously vulgar Frankenstein In Need Of A Hero Analysis of wealth, The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson Tom immediately sees that Gatsby's The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson most likely comes from crime. Score on SAT Math. Or maybe it's been awhile since you last read this novel, so you need a refresher on its The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson and characters.
A Psychoanalysis of Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby)
The main characters-Daisy, Sentencing Young Adults, and Nick-each are especially articulate. The author Bubonic Plague In Victorian Britain this value using the different characters and literary devices in the novel. In Manhattan, the five of them Description Of Reverend Hale In The Crucible a suite at the Plaza Hotel where many secrets come out. In the story, Tom is having Why Is Fahrenheit 451 Banned affair with Myrtle, The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis wife of Wilson. But if you think the protagonist is Persuasive Essay On Tobacco The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis who changes the most, you could argue Nick Description Of Reverend Hale In The Crucible the hero. Not only does this complete The Great Gatsby summary provide The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson detailed synopsis of the plot, but it'll also give The Great Gatsby Moral Analysis capsule descriptions for the book's major The Influence Of The Musical Icons Of Prince And Michael Jackson, short explanations of most important themes, as well as links to in-depth articles about these and other topics. Scott Fitzgerald, Writer of the Jazz Age. Looking for Graduate School Elizabeth Springss Letter To Her Father Analysis Prep? Was it greedy Huckleberry Finn Modern Day Analysis selfish G & Ds Restaurant Case Study these immigrants to come to America and improve their way of living?
After meeting Gatsby in Chapter 3 they begin spending time together. In Chapter 4 they drive to Manhattan together. At first he's pretty wary of Gatsby and his story. This wariness of Gatsby is compounded by Nick's poor and very anti-Semitic! Later in Chapter 4, Nick meets up with Jordan in the plaza hotel and she tells him about Daisy and Gatsby's romantic history which she heard all about at the previous party. Nick agrees to arrange a meeting between Daisy and Gatsby, which occurs in Chapter 5. The trio had stopped by Gatsby's house and Gatsby misreads how serious they are about having dinner together. Later, Tom and Daisy attend one of Gatsby's parties. Tom is immediately suspicious about where Gatsby gets his money while Daisy has a bad time, looking down her nose at the affair.
Gatsby confides in Nick afterwards that he wants to repeat his past with Daisy. Gatsby is hoping Daisy will tell Tom that she never loved him and is leaving him for Gatsby, but starts to feel nervous doing that in Tom's house. Daisy is anxious as well and suggests they all go to Manhattan. Nick rides to Manhattan with Tom and Jordan, in Gatsby's yellow car. They stop by the Wilson's garage, where he learns that George has discovered Myrtle's affair, but not the man she is cheating on him with. In Manhattan, the group rents a room at the Plaza hotel. A bunch of secrets come out, including the fact that Tom knows Gatsby is a bootlegger. Daisy tries to say she never loved Tom but can't stand by the statement, Tom, satisfied he's won, tells Gatsby to take Daisy back home in his yellow car while he drives back with Nick and Jordan.
On the way back, they come along Myrtle Wilson's death scene: she has been hit by the yellow car. Later that night, Nick stays outside of the Buchanans' house while waiting for a cab back to West Egg, too disgusted with their behavior to go inside. He sees Gatsby waiting outside—he wants to make sure Daisy is alright. Meanwhile, Nick spots Tom and Daisy inside looking like co-conspirators. In Chapter 8 , Nick goes to work but can't concentrate.
Jordan calls him to say where she's staying, but he's disgusted she doesn't seem shaken by Myrtle's death and they fight and break up. Nick later spends time with Gatsby in his mansion and learns his whole life story. The next day, Gatsby is shot and killed by George Wilson and George kills himself. In Chapter 9 , Nick struggles to arrange a funeral for Gatsby, which in the end is only attended by Gatsby's father and Owl Eyes. Disgusted with the morally lawless life in the East, he decides to retreat back home to the Midwest. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
The first lines establish Nick as thoughtful, thorough, privileged, and judgmental. This line also sets the tone for the first few pages, where Nick tells us about his background and tries to encourage the reader to trust his judgment. While he comes off as thoughtful and observant, we also get the sense he is judgmental and a bit snobby. To see more analysis of why the novel begins how it does, and what Nick's father's advice means for him as a character and as a narrator, read our article on the beginning of The Great Gatsby. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.
Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. Another quote from the first few pages of the novel, this line sets up the novel's big question: why does Nick become so close to Gatsby, given that Gatsby represents everything he hates? It also hints to the reader that Nick will come to care about Gatsby deeply while everyone else will earn his "unaffected scorn.
Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known. This is likely the moment when you start to suspect Nick doesn't always tell the truth—if everyone "suspects" themselves of one of the cardinal virtues the implication being they aren't actually virtuous , if Nick says he's honest, perhaps he's not? Furthermore, if someone has to claim that they are honest, that often suggests that they do things that aren't exactly trustworthy. Suddenly I wasn't thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more but of this clean, hard, limited person who dealt in universal skepticism and who leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.
Nick's interactions with Jordan are some of the only places where we get a sense of any vulnerability or emotion from Nick. In particular, Nick seems quite attracted to Jordan and being with her makes a phrase "beat" in his ears with "heady excitement. This line, which comes after Myrtle's death and Tom, Daisy, and Jordan's cold reaction to it, establishes that Nick has firmly come down on Gatsby's side in the conflict between the Buchanans and Gatsby. It also shows Nick's disenchantment with the whole wealthy east coast crowd and also that, at this point, he is devoted to Gatsby and determined to protect his legacy.
This hints to us that our once seemingly impartial narrator is now seeing Gatsby more generously than he sees others. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. And one fine morning—— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. This is Nick's conclusion to his story, which can be read as cynical, hopeful, or realistic, depending on how you interpret it.
You can read in detail about these lines in our article about the novel's ending. Nick is the narrator, but he is not omniscient he can't see everything , and he's also very human and flawed. In other words, he's an unreliable narrator, sometimes because he's not present for a certain event, other times because he presents the story out of order, and finally because he sometimes obscures the truth. It takes most students two reads of the novel to even catch the fact that Nick has a woman waiting for him back in the Midwest. Because of his unreliable narrator status, the central questions many teachers try to get at with Nick is to explore his role in the story, how the story would be different without his narration, and how he compares to Gatsby.
In short, you often have to analyze Nick as a character, not the narrator. This can be tricky because you have to compare Nick's narration with his dialogue, his actions, and how he chooses to tell the story. You also have to realize that when you're analyzing the other characters, you're doing that based on information from Nick, which may or may not be reliable. Basically, nothing we hear in the novel can be completely accurate since it comes through the necessarily flawed point of view of a single person. The best way to analyze Nick himself is to choose a few passages to close read, and use what you observe from close-reading to build a larger argument.
Pay close attention to moments, especially Nick's encounters with Jordan, that give you a glimpse at Nick's emotions and vulnerabilities. We will demonstrate this in action below! Pictured: the rose-tinted glasses Nick apparently starts to see Gatsby through. Since Nick gives a roughly chronological account of the summer of , we get to see the development of Gatsby from mysterious party-giver to love-struck dreamer to tragic figure who rose from humble roots and became rich, all in a failed attempt to win over Daisy.
If Gatsby was the narrator, it would be harder for Fitzgerald to show that progression, unless Gatsby relayed his life story way out of order, which might have been hard to accomplish from Gatsby's POV. The novel would have also been a much more straightforward story, probably with less suspense: Gatsby was born poor in South Dakota, became friends with Dan Cody, learned how to act rich, lost Cody's inheritance, fell in love with Daisy, fought in the war, became determined to win her back, turned to crime. In short, Fitzgerald could have told the same story, but it would have had much less suspense and mystery, plus it would have been much harder to relay the aftermath of Gatsby's death.
Unless the point of view abruptly switched after Gatsby was shot, the reader would have no idea what exactly happened to Gatsby, what happened to George Wilson, and finally wouldn't be able to see Gatsby's funeral. Plus, with a narrator other than Gatsby himself, it's easier to analyze Gatsby as a character. Nick is very observant, and he is able to notice things about Gatsby, like the way he misses social cues , subtle shifts in his mood, and even smaller details like his arresting smile. We probably wouldn't have seen these facets of Gatsby if Gatsby himself were telling the story. Finally, since Nick is both "within and without" the New York elite, he is an excellent ticket in to the reader—he can both introduce us to certain facets of that world while also sharing in much of our shock and skepticism.
Nick is just like the "new student at school" or "new employee" trope that so many movies and TV shows use as a way to introduce viewers into a new world. With Gatsby as narrator, it would be harder to observe all the details of the New York social elite. In many ways, Nick is an unreliable narrator: he's dishonest about his own shortcomings downplaying his affairs with other women, as well as his alcohol use , and he doesn't tell us everything he knows about the characters upfront for example, he waits until Chapter 6 to tell us the truth about Gatsby's origins, even though he knows the whole time he's telling the story, and even then glosses over unflattering details like the details of Gatsby's criminal enterprises , and he's often harsh in his judgments and additionally anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynistic.
As a reader, you should be skeptical of Nick because of how he opens the story, namely that he spends a few pages basically trying to prove himself a reliable source see our beginning summary for more on this , and later, how he characterizes himself as "one of the few honest people I have ever known" 3. After all, does an honest person really have to defend their own honesty? However, despite how judgmental he is, Nick is a very observant person, especially in regard to other people, their body language, and social situations. Gatsby reveals that Daisy is in love with him. Tom in turn reveals that Gatsby is a bootlegger, and is probably engaged in other criminal activities as well.
Gatsby demands that Daisy renounce Tom entirely, and say that she has never loved him. Daisy can't bring herself to say this because it isn't true, crushing Gatsby's dream and obsession. It's clear that their relationship is over and that Daisy has chosen to stay with Tom. That evening, Daisy and Gatsby drive home in his car, with Daisy behind the wheel. When they drive by the Wilson gas station, Myrtle runs out to the car because she thinks it's Tom driving by. Daisy hits and kills her, driving off without stopping. Nick, Jordan, and Tom investigate the accident. That night, Gatsby decides to take the blame for the accident. He is still waiting for Daisy to change her mind and come back to him, but she and Tom skip town the next day.
Nick breaks up with Jordan because she is completely unconcerned about Myrtle's death. Gatsby tells Nick some more of his story. As an officer in the army, he met and fell in love with Daisy, but after a month had to ship out to fight in WWI. Two years later, before he could get home, she married Tom. Gatsby has been obsessed with getting Daisy back since he shipped out to fight five years earlier.
Nick tries to find people to come to Gatsby's funeral, but everyone who pretended to be Gatsby's friend and came to his parties now refuses to come. Even Gatsby's partner Wolfshiem doesn't want to go to the funeral. Wolfshiem explains that he first gave Gatsby a job after WWI and that they have been partners in many illegal activities together. Gatsby's father comes to the funeral from Minnesota. He shows Nick a self-improvement plan that Gatsby had written for himself as a boy. Disillusioned with his time on the East coast, Nick decides to return to his home in the Midwest. See what happens when in actual chronological order and without flashbacks in our Great Gatsby timeline.
Read our individual The Great Gatsby chapter summaries for more in-depth details about plot, important quotes and character beats, and how the novel's major themes get reflected:. Learn the significance behind the novel's title , its beginning , and its ending. Nick Carraway —our narrator, but not the book's main character. Coming East from the Midwest to learn the bond business, Nick is horrified by the materialism and superficiality he finds in Manhattan and Long Island. He ends up admiring Gatsby as a hopeful dreamer and despising the rest of the people he encounters. Jay Gatsby —a self-made man who is driven by his love for, and obsession with, Daisy Buchanan.
Born a poor farmer, Gatsby becomes materially successful through crime and spends the novel trying to recreate the perfect love he and Daisy had five years before. When she cannot renounce her marriage, Gatsby's dream is crushed. Daisy Buchanan —a very rich young woman who is trapped in a dysfunctional marriage and oppressed by her meaningless life.
Daisy has an affair with Gatsby, but is ultimately unwilling to say that she has been as obsessed with him as he has with her, and goes back to her unsatisfying, but also less demanding, relationship with her husband, Tom. Tom Buchanan —Daisy's very rich, adulterous, bullying, racist husband. Tom is having a physically abusive affair with Myrtle Wilson. He investigates Gatsby and reveals some measure of his criminal involvement, demonstrating to Daisy that Gatsby isn't someone she should run off with.
Jordan Baker —a professional golfer who has a relationship with Nick. At first, Jordan is attractive because of her jaded, cynical attitude, but then Nick slowly sees that her inveterate lying and her complete lack of concern for other people are deal breakers. Myrtle Wilson —the somewhat vulgar wife of a car mechanic who is unhappy in her marriage. Myrtle is having an affair with Tom, whom she likes for his rugged and brutal masculinity and for his money.
Daisy runs Myrtle over, killing her in a gruesome and shocking way. George Wilson —Myrtle's browbeaten, weak, and working class husband. George is enraged when he finds out about Myrtle's affair, and then that rage is transformed into unhinged madness when Myrtle is killed. George kills Gatsby and himself in the murder-suicide that seems to erase Gatsby and his lasting impact on the world entirely. Need a refresher on all the other people in this book?
Check out our overview of the characters or dive deeper with our detailed character analyses. He was great because of the single-minded pursuit of his dream. This realization about who Gatsby was and what he represented was driven home by his death and the lack of attendees at his funeral. No one, aside from Nick, realizes the kind of man he was. Finally, I find myself considering what the novel can tell us about the United States post-World War I and during the financial boom of the roaring twenties. Without didactically detailing historical information, the novel does provide readers with an interesting insight into what the world was like then.
Fitzgerald taps into a particular culture, fueled by a new love for jazz music, financial stability, prohibition and speakeasies, and new freedoms for women. The novel evokes this culture throughout each page, transporting readers into a very different time and place. Early reviews of The Great Gatsby were not positive. It was not until after this death that it was elevated to the status it holds today. The message is that the American dream is not real and that wealth does not equal happiness. Gatsby is generally considered to be a good character. He did illegal things to gain his fortune but it was with the best intentions—regaining the love of Daisy, the woman he loved in his youth. But, considering her actions, it seems unlikely she loved him during the novel.
Nick learns that the wealth of East and West Egg are a cover for emptiness and moral bankruptcy. The men and women he met are devoid of empathy or love for one another. The Great Gatsby is a novel of the Jazz Age. The novel explores the consequences of wealth and suggests that the American dream is an unrealistic expectation. Home » F. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.