Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Why Is Gatsby so Memorable to the Reader Essay Example for Free
Why Is Gatsby so Memorable to the Reader Essay The Great Gatsby was first published in 1925 and was one of FitzgeraldÃ¢â¬â¢s most well-known novels. Many aspects of this book caused this mass popularity, however the main reasons are his use of romantic modernism and most importantly, his portrayal of the different character. The different portrayals of the characters across Long island manipulate the readerÃ¢â¬â¢s opinion. One of the most famous examples for this is Gatsby. Gatsby is a very memorable character for many different reasons, such as the portrayal of him by Nick, his mannerisms, his reactions and doings. Each of these reasons helps him become memorable, however another important aspect of this memorability is the effects the Fitzgerald uses, romantic modernism, imagery, atmosphere, descriptions. One reason why Gatsby is memorable to the reader is because of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s role as an exception in NickÃ¢â¬â¢s, the narrator of this story, newly formed opinion on the people in Long Island. While Nick has a strong negative reaction to his experiences in New York and eventually returns to the Midwest in search of a less morally ambiguous environment, even during his initial phase of disgust, Gatsby stands out for him as an exception. Nick admires Gatsby highly, despite the fact that Gatsby represents everything Nick scorns about New York as he merges n with the crowd of West Egg, ostentation, garishness and flashy mannerisms, Gatsby clearly poses a challenge to NickÃ¢â¬â¢s customary ways of thinking about the world, and NickÃ¢â¬â¢s struggle to come to terms with that challenge inflects everything in the novel. One example of this is; Ã¢â¬Ë Ã¢â¬Å"I wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t ask too much of her,Ã¢â¬ I ventured. Ã¢â¬Å"You canÃ¢â¬â¢t repeat the past. Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"CanÃ¢â¬â¢t repeat the past? Ã¢â¬ he cried incredulously. Why of course you can! Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Ë This quote shows us how motivated and dedicated Gatsby is to relive the past, with his Ã¢â¬ËloverÃ¢â¬â¢ Daisy. His undying, untameable passion for her is constantly emphasised throughout the book. However, the most unusual feature of this affair, in comparison to the other various affairs of characters is that Gatsby wants to relive the past. Althoug h his ideas and morals highlight everything that NickÃ¢â¬â¢s contradict, he still always has a sense of dedication towards Gatsby, such as being the only person at GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s funeral. NickÃ¢â¬â¢s attitudes toward Gatsby and GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s story are ambivalent and contradictory. At times he seems to disapprove of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s excesses and breaches of manners and ethics, but he also romanticizes and admires Gatsby, describing the events of the novel in a nostalgic and elegiac tone. This opinion formed by the narrator of this story now means that Gatsby is more memorable because of the sometimes contradictory opinions on his character but also because of the narratorÃ¢â¬â¢s reaction to Gatsby. A second reason why Gatsby is memorable to the readers is because of the use of mystery and withheld information throughout the beginning aspects of the book. This mystery is initially triggered when the readers first see Gatsby. Ã¢â¬ËHe gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone Ã¢â¬â he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward Ã¢â¬â and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darknessÃ¢â¬â¢ In this extract Gatsby is initially portrayed as a very mysterious and enigmatic character and interestingly stands in stark contrast to the other denizens of West Egg. Although Nick is unsure of this green lightÃ¢â¬â¢s origin or even what significance it represents for Gatsby, the inner yearning which is visible to Nick, mainly because of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s posture and emotional surrender to this green light makes him seem the opposite of the previous surrounding, the sarcastic Ivy League set at the BuchanansÃ¢â¬â¢. Gatsby is a mysterious figure for Nick, since Nick knows neither his motives, nor the source of his wealth, nor his history, and the object of his yearning remains as remote and nebulous as the green light toward which he reaches. This imagery creates a tense atmosphere for the readers initial perception This use of mystery surrounding Gatsby helps him to become more memorable because he is the character who leads the readerÃ¢â¬â¢s curiosity and is always indirectly at the center of everything. This helps Gatsby become more memorable by the use of withheld information and mystery. Fitzgerald delays the introduction of most of this information until quite late in the novel. GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s reputation precedes himÃ¢â¬âGatsby himself does not appear in a speaking role until Chapter three. Fitzgerald initially presents Gatsby as the aloof, enigmatic host of the unbelievably lavish parties thrown every week at his mansion. He appears surrounded by spectacular luxury, courted by powerful men and beautiful women. He is the subject of gossip throughout New York and is already a legendary celebrity before he is ever introduced to the reader. Fitzgerald propels the novel forward through the early chapters by shrouding GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s background and the source of his wealth in mystery. As a result, the readerÃ¢â¬â¢s first, distant impressions of Gatsby strike quite a different note from that of the lovesick, naive young man who emerges through the later part of the novel. This also helps him to be more memorable. An alternative reason why Gatsby is memorable is his effect on other characters, although he is a stark contrast in many ways, this helps the audience to warm to him. Some of the defining characteristics of Gatsby are his theatrical quality as a character and also his charisma. Chapter three is when Fitzgerald creates a close examination on Gatsby and allows the reader to form an opinion alone. Ã¢â¬ËHe had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself. Ã¢â¬â¢ This description of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s smile captures both the theatrical quality of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s character and his charisma effectively within its essence. Additionally, it encapsulates the manner in which Gatsby appears to the outside world, an image Fitzgerald slowly deconstructs as the novel progresses toward GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s death in Chapter eight. One of the main facets of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s persona is that he acts out a role that he defined for himself when he was seventeen years old. His smile seems to be both an important part of the role and a result of the singular combination of hope and imagination that enables him to play it so effectively. Here, Nick describes GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s rare focusÃ¢â¬âhe has the ability to make anyone he smiles at feel as though he has chosen that person out of Ã¢â¬Å"the whole external world,Ã¢â¬ reflecting that personÃ¢â¬â¢s most optimistic conception of him- or herself. This synecdoche of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s smile also makes the reader remember Gatsby a lot more than they may not have done as it represents his whole character as an unusual but yet enigmatic person. Another reason why Gatsby is memorable to the reader is because of the various comparisons and parallels drawn between other famous characters in stories. These are effective because they help the reader to further challenge their initial opinion on Gatsby but in an unusual, unfamiliar manner. Ã¢â¬ËThe truth was that Jay Gatsby, of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of GodÃ¢â¬âa phrase which, if it means anything, means just thatÃ¢â¬âand he must be about His FatherÃ¢â¬â¢s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. Ã¢â¬â¢ In Chapter six, when Nick finally describes GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s early history, he uses this striking comparison between Gatsby and Jesus Christ to illuminate GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s creation of his own identity. Fitzgerald was influenced in drawing this parallel by a nineteenth-century book entitled The Life of Jesus. This book presents Jesus as a figure who essentially decided to make himself the son of God, then brought himself to ruin by refusing to recognize the reality that denied his self-conception. Renan describes a Jesus who is Ã¢â¬Å"faithful to his self-created dream but scornful of the factual truth that finally crushes him and his dreamÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬âa very appropriate description of Gatsby. FitzgeraldÃ¢â¬â¢s devising of this metaphor allows Gatsby to be compared more thoroughly and also provides an association to the other characters throughout the rest of the book. Though the parallel between Gatsby and Jesus is not an important motif in The Great Gatsby, it is nonetheless a suggestive comparison, as Gatsby transforms himself into the ideal that he envisioned for himself (a Platonic conception of himself) as a youngster and remains committed to that ideal, despite the obstacles that society presents to the fulfillment of his dream, such as the fact that Gatsby wants to repeat the past but the situation has changed completely. The final reason why Gatsby is so memorable is his impact throughout the novel. An initial factor of his memorability is that the book is called Ã¢â¬ËThe Great GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢. Before the readers have even heard of this character they already start to question various aspects of him. However, the biggest impact he had was the dedication he created within Nick for him. Ã¢â¬ËGatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but thatÃ¢â¬â¢s no matterÃ¢â¬âtomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morningÃ¢â¬â So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the pastÃ¢â¬â¢ These words conclude the novel and find Nick returning to the theme of the significance of the past to dreams of the future, here represented by the green light. He focuses on the struggle of human beings to achieve their goals by both transcending and re-creating the past. Yet humans prove themselves unable to move beyond the past: in the metaphoric language used here, the current draws them backward as they row forward toward the green light. This past functions as the source of their ideas about the future, epitomized by GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s desire to re-create 1917 in his affair with Daisy, and they cannot escape it as they continue to struggle to transform their dreams into reality. While they never lose their optimism, Ã¢â¬Å"tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . , they expend all of their energy in pursuit of a goal that moves ever farther away. This apt metaphor characterizes both GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s struggle and the American dream itself. NickÃ¢â¬â¢s words register neither blind approval nor cynical disillusionment but rather the respectful melancholy that he ultimately brings to his study of GatsbyÃ¢â¬â¢s life. Therefore overall Gatsby is a memorable character mainly because of his portrayal by Nick and FitzgeraldÃ¢â¬â¢s use of imagery to be described. Throughout, Gatsby changes the atmosphere and always clings to the mind of the reader.
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