The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Conflict In The Great Gatsby

What are the conflicts in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald?

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The main conflict in a story, novel, play or motion picture is usually based on the protagonist's motivation. The protagonist is not always the hero, but in the case of The Great Gatsby it is Gatsby who is the protagonist. His motivation--what he wants--is obviously Daisy. The conflict--why can't he get her?--arises because of several obstacles. For one thing, she is already married. Not only that but she has a little daughter. Gatsby has tried very hard to make a lot of money and to become a facsimile of an upper-class gentleman, but his criminal career and his crooked associates work against him. It is a conflict which Gatsby ultimately loses. A story cannot be interesting unless it is dramatic. It cannot be dramatic unless there is conflict. It cannot have conflict unless somebody wants something (motivation). The thing that "somebody" wants is usually called the MacGuffin. In The Great Gatsby , Daisy is the Macguffin. Gatsby is the protagonist. He is the "somebody" who wants something and...

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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nicole8923 | Student

There are many conflicts found within this novel. I believe the biggest conflict is between Gatsby and himself, and how he tries to completely change himself into what he believes Daisy wants, but I can also understand on how it is between Gatsby and how he tries to win her back. But honestly I think the conflict is Gatsby's obsession to be what Daisy wants.

Wiggin42 | Student

One major conflict is Gatsby's internal conflict with his past. Gatsby has an unhealthy obsession with the past because he was once too poor to marry Daisy. While Daisy has moved on with her life, Gatsby has not. He goes to great lengths to win her love again; to repeat the past. Gatsby is so enchanted with everything Daisy represents: money, lust, etc that he becomes disillusioned. He hosts parties and partakes in illegal money making schemes. He is chasing a dream that is long over.