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How 'Great' is Gatsby?I am confused between Fitzgerald's intended view of Gatsby, and...

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babyshambles | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 1, 2008 at 1:37 AM via web

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How 'Great' is Gatsby?

I am confused between Fitzgerald's intended view of Gatsby, and Nick Carraway's view of him. Obviously we get Nick's view of him as he is narrating, but does Fitzgerald actually want us to agree?

Is Gatsby actually great, or is it simply Nick's view?

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 2, 2008 at 3:15 AM (Answer #1)

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I think each reader must make their own decision on Gatsby's greatness. Jay Gatsby did pursue a goal and did not stop until he had made every attempt humanly possible to achieve it. He needed to become a different person to try and win Daisy's love. He did amass wealth and notoriety, and for a brief time, he had Daisy's attention. In this way, he could be considered great. He was not quick to throw in the towel, and let defeat depress him.

Gatsby is also not jaded by money. As a matter of fact, he has a naive quality. This is a sharp contrast to Tom Buchanan, who feels a sense of entitlement so strong it has led him to such a monumental superior attitude that no one can truly warm to him. Gatsby earns Nick's respect for his unfazed attitude.

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