The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In what ways could Gatsby be considered a victim?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,232 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Jay Gatsby is depicted as a charismatic, hopeless romantic who dramatically alters his identity and achieves the American Dream, only to be completely neglected by the love of his life and brutally murdered in his backyard for a crime he did not commit.

Gatsby is initially motivated to reinvent himself and becomes business partners with Meyer Wolfsheim in order to amass wealth and enjoy the life of an aristocrat. He believes in the American Dream and hopes that attaining wealth will allow him to reunite with Daisy, which will result in a life of happiness. Unfortunately, Gatsby becomes a victim of the American Dream when he discovers that money does not translate into happiness or feelings of content.

Gatsby also becomes a victim after Daisy plays games with his heart and Tom lies to George Wilson about his role in Myrtle's death. Gatsby genuinely loves Daisy, who is only concerned with her financial security and social status. He sacrifices everything to be with her and even reinvents himself to win Daisy's heart. However, his efforts are never enough for Daisy, and she does not take him seriously. Once Tom exposes Gatsby as a bootlegger, Daisy instantly loses interest in him. Gatsby essentially becomes the victim of unrequited love.

After Daisy runs over Myrtle, Tom blames her death on Gatsby and tells George where he lives, knowing that George will seek revenge. In the end, George travels to Gatsby's home and murders him before committing suicide. Gatsby's tragic death depicts him as a victim of Tom's malicious plan. As Nick Carraway mentions, Gatsby became the victim of the "foul dust" that floated in the wake of his dreams and preyed on him. Sadly, none of Gatsby's acquaintances attend his funeral, and only his father and Nick Carraway are there to mourn his death.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial