“Stories have the power to celebrate individual or collective experiences and values.” Evaluate the way The Great Gatsby explores this statement.

The Great Gatsby explores this statement through the positive elements in Nick’s portrayal of Gatsby. This aspect of the novel connects with the collective values represented by the American Dream.

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Although The Great Gatsby is a tragedy in which two people die, including the protagonist, certain aspects of the novel can be understood as celebrating individual experiences. Nick Carraway, the first-person narrator, retains a certain admiration for Jay Gatsby . The most positive element of Gatsby’s character is...

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Although The Great Gatsby is a tragedy in which two people die, including the protagonist, certain aspects of the novel can be understood as celebrating individual experiences. Nick Carraway, the first-person narrator, retains a certain admiration for Jay Gatsby. The most positive element of Gatsby’s character is his continued faith in the American Dream. While Nick himself is cynical and takes a critical perspective on that dream, he acknowledges how strongly it motivates Gatsby and others. In that respect, the novel can be seen as both a denouncement and a celebration of the American Dream.

As Nick’s narrative unrolls, he gradually acquaints the reader with Gatsby as he grew to know him. Fairly late in the novel, Nick provides the biography that Jay Gatsby—the former James Gatz—shared with him. Further details of Gatsby’s dedication to self-improvement and achievement, already evident in his youth, are finally provided by Gatsby’s father at the funeral.

Nick has mixed feelings about Gatsby, in part because of his quest for Daisy and in part because of his business activities. The celebratory aspects of Nick’s portrayal relate to Jay’s constant faith in achieving whatever he sets his mind to do. Until the final moments of his life, Gatsby never doubts that he will succeed in winning Daisy. Similarly, although Nick disapproves of Gatsby’s illegal dealings, he understands that his friend’s unwavering ambition and determination are consistent with the values of hard work and rugged individualism that form the backbone of the American Dream.

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