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Transcript of Gatsby
First of all...what is a tragic hero?
Gatsby's tragic flaw
Before we can judge if Jay Gatsby is a tragic hero, we should look at the exact definition of a tragic hero. According to the classic definition, a tragic hero can be defined as a "great or virtuous character who has a tragic flaw that eventually leads to his/her downfall, which he/she faces with dignity and courage."
Through this definition, it is clear that Jay Gatsby in F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel is easily portrayed as a great example of a tragic hero.
His own self perception. He thinks that as long as he surrounds himself with riches and the wealthy, people will accept him and he can erase his former self (poor farm boy)
Gatsby portrayed as a
Although at first Gatsby may not seem to be the everyday man, in reality he actually is. At one point Gatsby's past is examined and his parents are described as "shiftless and unsuccessful farm people" (Fitzgerald 95)
He wasn't born into wealth and privilege and he didn't have any type of special background
Nick discusses Gatsby's past and he says "So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent" (Fitzgerald 95)
In the novel The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is a tragic hero because he displays the fundamental characteristics of a modern tragic hero. He is a common man, he contains the characteristics of a tragic flaw, and he eventually has a tragic fall.
Nick recounts Gatsby’s past and describes him as being a “penniless young man” (Fitzgerald 141)
his view of the world is obstructed by his own naive idealism
So who does Jay Gatsby connect to and how..?
"We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."
Secondary Source: Shaw, George Bernard. WcP. System. Thinker. Worldculturepictorial.com. May 2008. Wind of Wisdom.
-helps take away some of the disguise of wealth and overwhelming power, and brings him into a more human perspective
Nick is over at Gatsby’s house, and Gatsby reflects on his and Daisy’s relationship. He even states, “There must have been moments…...when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams...…because of the colossal vitality of his illusion”(Fitzgerald 92)
Gatsby does not see things as they really are and expects them to play out exactly as he thinks they will.
-‘Can’t repeat the past?’.... ‘Why of course you can!’” (Fitzgerald 106).
Gatsby’s idealism also blinds him to how Daisy really acts and what her personality is like
When Nick reflects on Gatsby's idea of Daisy, he says "He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: ‘I never loved you.”" (Fitzgerald 105).
“Gatsby is great, because his dream, however naive, gaudy, and unattainable, is one of the grand illusions of the race which keep men from becoming too old or too wise or too cynical of their human limitations.”
Secondary source: Ornstein, Robert. National Council of Teachers of English. 139-143. Fitzgerald.narod.ru
There are many features through out the novel of Macbeth and The Great Gatsby that parallel.
Both main characters of each novel, Macbeth and Jay Gatsby, appear stable and successful on the outside, but inside they are engaged in a constant struggle with their dreams.
Both characters are willing to risk anything in pursuit of attaining their dreams, including committing crimes.
After both end up going great lengths to fulfill their so called "dreams", both characters end up dying at the end
Gatsby's tragic fall
Although Gatsby’s physical fall starts near the end of novel, his spiritual fall begins before we even meet him
We find out Daisy's and Gatsby's relationship ends because he isn't wealthy enough. He needs to become wealthy so that Daisy could marry him.
After Daisy kills Myrtle in the car accident, we learn that Gatsby take's the blame for Myrtles death.
Gatsby is surrounded by all kinds of wealthy and high class people, and it seems like he has many friends. However, at Gatsby’s funeral at the very end of the novel when Gatsby is shot and killed, there is no one there except for a few people
Gatsby is a perfect example of a modern tragic hero because he has an eventual tragic fall, he displays certain characteristic that shows that he has tragic flaw and if you look beyond his wealth, you will see that he was just a common man with a big dream.