What makes Gatsby great in The Great Gatsby?

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I would argue that Gatsby is great because he epitomizes the promise of the American Dream. Basically a regular guy from a humble Midwestern background, Gatsby has come so far in his relatively short life. He's set himself a number of very ambitious goals in life, and by and large he's achieved them (although Daisy remains tantalizingly out of reach). One might certainly express disapproval at the way in which Gatsby became so phenomenally rich, but he's no hardened criminal. Despite his ill-advised involvement with bootlegging, he's still a fundamentally decent man: he's generous, companionable, and emotionally honest.

Gatsby's also great in that he's quite a character. Whatever else you might say about him, Gatsby's certainly someone you're not likely to forget in a hurry. That he's able to be such a memorable character without imposing himself on those around him—unlike, say, Tom Buchanan—makes him all the more remarkable.

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Gatsby is great because he, simply put, retains an optimism and ability to dream that the vast majority of other characters in the book do not.  When Nick returns from the war, he feels a discontent that is very common among Americans in the 1920s; even Daisy feels disillusioned.  The world no longer seems like the same place that it did before the war.  However, Gatsby returned from the war with the same fire he's always felt to do better, be more, reach higher.  He believes that he can absolutely return to the past, when he and Daisy were sweetly in love; he thinks that it is possible to possess that kind of innocence again, despite her new status as a wife and a mother.  Regardless of these changes or any other obstacles, he "believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us."  Even though his dreams seem to get further and further away, Gatsby keeps his optimistic belief in their possibility, their probability, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.  This hopefulness makes him great.

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In The Great Gatsby, why is Gatsby considered to be great?

In The Great Gatsby, why is Gatsby considered to be great?

Why is Gatsby considered to be great?

And yet another interpretation . . . Fitzgerald's title is the gift that just keeps on giving. I've read in several sources  that shortly before his novel was published, a nervous Fitzgerald cabled his editor, Max Perkins, to ask if he should change the name of it to Under the Red, White, and Blue. He asked Perkins what the effect would be. Perkins reportedly cabled a one-word answer: "Fatal."

One aspect of Gatsby's greatness is the sheer magnificence of his dreams, the very nature of them. I don't mean his pursuit and attainment of wealth--the gorgeous house, big yellow car, flashy wardrobe. His dream was even more ambitious. He truly believed he could create himself in the self-image he had dreamed up. FSF wrote of Gatsby's "Platonic conception of himself," adding "He was a son of God, " an ironic reference to Christian theology. Gatsby was God who created Gatsby as Son.

Then there was Gatsby's other dream/sincere belief that through the sheer force of his will, he could wipe out five years and repeat the past. I think Nick uses the word "colossal" to describe this dream. Maybe what made Gatsby great at heart was the nature of his dreams and what Nick calls Gatsby's "extraordinary gift for hope" and his unmatched "romantic readiness."

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In The Great Gatsby, why is Gatsby considered to be great?

The character of Jay Gatsby is considered to be "great" for a few different reasons depending upon which character you are looking at.  Nick is Gatsby's biggest admirer and the reasons that Nick feels that Gatsby is great is dependent upon the other characters in the novel.   Throughout the book, Nick is befriended by characters who are shady and self-centered -- Tom, Daisy, Jordan, Myrtle.  Through his interactions with these people, Nick realizes that Gatsby, despite the fact that his is somewhat living a lie, is a good person on the inside.  He would never treat people the way that Tom, Jordan, or Daisy does.  A perfect example of this lies at the end of the novel after Daisy kills Myrtle.  Daisy vanishes back into her house to make up with her husband, never telling him that it was she who killed his girlfriend while Gatsby waits outside her house to make sure she is alright, totally ready to take the murder rap for a woman who really does not seem to care much for the man that he is (but only for what he possesses). 

The other characters in the novel who visit Gatsby at his parties find him to be great because of the parties that he throws and the mystery that surrounds his character -- the rumors that are spread about him contribute a great deal to his "greatness" when looking at him through the eyes of these minor characters. 

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In The Great Gatsby, why is Gatsby considered to be great?

Gatsby is "great" in that he is cast as a character "bigger-than-life."

Between image and substance, he is a bundle of contraditions. A jet-setter VIP in the fast lane, Gatsby nevertheless seems worn down by the glitter and gab of his contemporaries. For instance, he throws big parties but tires of them and at times even wanders off. He is preoccupied, even troubled, by his relationship with Daisy, a superficial "tart", but seeks more meaningful relationships among his male peers. He "lives by the rules" to maintain his status among the upper crust but takes this task on as a burdensome duty rather than as a privilege. He acts as a man of integrity, but rumour has it that he amassed his fortune through bootlegging during the Prohibition years.

Gatsby is enigmatic because of these contraditions, and the mechanics of his personality are difficult to figure out. He is "very human" but at the same time remains beyond the grasp of everyday, middle class people. He has enveloped himself in a world he has painfully constructed, but once this is done, he is no longer free to be himself. The myth has taken over the man.

Most critics agree that there are strong autobiographical elements in the fabric of Gatsby, as Fitzgerald lived in the same kind of society and faced many of the same problems. He deals more directly with these issues in his book The Crack-up. (For example, Fitzgerald made "unreasonable" sacrifices for his unstable wife Zelda much in the same way that Gatsby "took the rap" for Daisy.)

For more information concerning the ambivalence of Gatsby and the social concerns of Fitzgerland who lived during "the Jazz Age" (his own coined expression), see the references below.

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What makes Gatsby "great" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby?

For Jay Gatsby, the descriptor "great" likely refers more to his reputation than to his actual persona. While he remains aloof from most people, Gatsby still builds up an image of himself as a wealthy bigshot. His party guests, who don't actually know him at all, certainly think Gatsby is great. We learn that this is all just for appearances' sake. Gatsby hopes that if he can adequately show off his newfound wealth, he can attract the attention of his old flame Daisy.

Along with Nick, we come to see that this all makes Gatsby quite the foolish romantic. He seems to have a surface-level understanding of the class divide between old money and new money, Yet he still thinks that opulant displays of wealth, the very thing that the old monied elites loathe, can elevate him to the level of the Buchanans.

So perhaps Fitzgerald is being ironic by using "great" in the novel's title. No amount of money can make Gatsby authentic. He lives a life of deception, pretending to be someone he's not. Indeed, his fortune itself is the result of criminal activities. The people who might have called him the "Great Gatsby" at his parties couldn't be bothered to come to his funeral. Looking at it this way, Fitzgerald is pointing out the hypocrisy and shallowness of wealthy society.

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What makes Jay Gatsby so great in The Great Gatsby?Why is the title named The Great Gatsby?

Jay Gatsby is not intended to be a truly "great" person. Rather, this character is intended as a commentary, often ironic and prohibitive, regarding materialism and a corruption of American morals. 

The title of the novel is indicative of this effort, positioning the book as a satire

The elements of satire in the book include...the grotesque quality of the name “Great” Gatsby in the title.

Critics have commented on the origins of this novel with roots in traditional satires, stemming back to ancient Rome.

Originally, the title of the book was “Trimalchio,” based on an ancient satire of a man called Trimalchio who dresses up to be rich.

From this evidence, we can see that Gatsby is not meant to be seen as great in any actual way. He is to be seen instead as great despite himself, great because his dream remains somehow (and startlingly) uncorrupted by his materialism, his profession (as a bootlegger) and by the society he keeps. 

Jay Gatsby's greatness can be seen essentially as a result of his failure to truly change. Gatsby never fully becomes the man he intends or pretends to be. In this failure, his innocence and goodness are preserved. This is true, at least, from Nick's point of view. 

Through Nick, we come to see Gatsby as a muddled or accidental hero. Blind to his virtues because these virtues are maintained despite his aims. 

His ignorance of his real greatness and misunderstanding of his notoriety endear him to Nick, who tells him he is better than the “whole rotten bunch put together.”

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What makes Gatsby so great that they named the book The Great Gatsby?

Gatsby is seen as "Great" because of his ability to dream and be driven to live because of his dreams.  I think that part of the allure that Gatsby has is that he represents the irrepressible spirit of identity and freedom that are so intrinsic to America. This is not a culture whereby individuals are born into a lot in life and cannot escape it.  Gastby redefines his own identity and does so in such an intensely extravagant manner that one could only see him as "Great."  For a world that lacks dreamers and those who are inspired by it, Gatsby is an individual who really sees things differently and uses them as a source of motivation to make what is into what should be.  I think that this is where he emerges as "Great."  The other implication of "Great" can also refer to size and magnitude.  Gatsby dreams big, creates wealth that is opulent in his display, and constructs reality that is larger than reality.  In this, Gatsby represents another typical American idea of obsession with size and abundance.  The demonstration of his wealth is part of his dream in winning Daisy.  In the end, these reflections are what makes Gatsby "Great."

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