theme of lonelinessWhat three points and how can I expand on them to write an essay on the theme of "Gatsby's loneliness" in the novel, The Great Gatsby?Two points I have so far:- separates...

theme of loneliness

What three points and how can I expand on them to write an essay on the theme of "Gatsby's loneliness" in the novel, The Great Gatsby?

Two points I have so far:
- separates himself from other guests at his parties
- loves Daisy and has been waiting for her to return to him for many years

Many thanks!

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would venture to say also that even thought Gatsby has the money that he's been working so diligently to get so that he may acquire Daisy, he is on the outside of love, outside of the "accepted group with the Old Money (his is relatively new and illegally gotten), and he is on the outside of goodness in life even though he has a good heart and does all he does for the right reasons.  What I mean by this last point is that Gatsby, for all the criminal activities he's involved in, is not accepted as a good man or a good enough man for Daisy's world.  He is shrouded in secrecy and mystery, and ultimately, it is his criminal acts and behavior which bring him down.  Had it not been for his car (driven by Daisy and associated with Tom) which ran over Tom's mistress, Gatsby would have lived a longer, perhaps happier life.  However, he is killed since he is mistaken as the driver of the car, and therefore a heartless killer. 

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The point about Gatsby's being separate from his guests demonstrates how he is outside the circle of the East Egg people, such as Daisy and Tom Buchanan.  Often he stands and watches the green light at the end of Daisy's peer as though he is outside her world.  Later in the novel, he stands outside her house watching loyally in his desire to protect her.  However, while Gatsby is so concerned about Daisy, in her selfishness and self-interest, she joins her dastardly husband in conspiring against him.

Another point you may wish to make is that Gatsby's "American Dream" is a false one since it is built upon criminal activity and the illusions that he holds about Daisy and her ilk.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He lives on West Egg (the place for those with new money), rather than East Egg (the place for those with old money), indicating another way he just does not fit.

His best friend, or at least his closest confidante, is Nick--a working-class guy living in a little cottage next door (and who, by the way, says he despises everything for which Gatsby stood).

He lives his life both in the constant hope and fear that his two worlds will collide.  While he wants Daisy to "discover" one of his party, he is careful to keep any of his business dealings as far away from the people he seems to care most about (Nick and Daisy).

This is an interesting idea to pursue!

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are a few more to think about:

- No one knows his real job

- No one attends his funeral, and those that do barely know him really now. Think about how a funeral should be the celebration of someone's life and lots of people should be there crying. Why? Because this would be the life of a person with many relationships. Not so with Gatsby, even with all of Nick's effort, almost nothing.

- Gatsby owns a great big home with no family to fill it.

I'm sure there are many more avenues to think through, but these are a few just off the top of my head.


accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think you have identified an excellent point in your initial question. In Chapter 3 for example, he is definitely shown to be separate form his parties. This is a fascinating issue, as it shows that he is at once intimately part of the "Jazz Age" whilst at the same time completely separate to it. This evidence of loneliness is well worth analysing and discussing, with particular relevance to his place in this world and his motivation for becoming part of a world which he essentially feels isolated from and cannot join with.

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The Great Gatsby

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