The Pathetic Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby
Pathetic is a term used to describe someone who is pitifully
unsuccessful. Success is not necessarily measured in wealth or fame, but
it is measured by how much one has accomplished in life. A successful
person is one who has set many goals for himself and then goes out in life
and accomplishes some of them, but goes on living even if failing on others.
In the novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a pathetic character because
he wasted his whole life chasing an unrealistic dream.
Gatsby’s dream is unrealistic because “it depends for its success
upon Daisy’s discontent with her marriage and her willingness to exchange
it for a life of love. But Daisy’s discontent, like her sophistication, is
a pose.”(Aldridge 36) The fact is, Daisy has almost all of the things that
a woman could want out of a marriage. She is very wealthy, she has a
beautiful daughter, and her relationship with her husband is of a
comfortable nature. It is true that her life is not very exciting, but it
is unreasonable to think that she would trade all that she had in her
marriage to Tom Buchanan for Jay Gatsby. At that time, divorce was very
uncommon, and it was very unlikely that any woman would leave her husband
for any reason at all.
Everything that Gatsby ever did in his whole life was based upon
his pursuit of the dream. He moved to New York and bought his very
expensive mansion because of Daisy. Jordan Baker said, “Gatsby bought that
house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”(Fitzgerald 83) He held
many expensive parties in the hope that Daisy mi…
…ing as a flawless plan. A successful person would achieve
their goals by meeting their needs in life by using what was given to them.
Gatsby tried to do the opposite, and failed. “Gatsby’s story it is a story
of failure – the prolongation of the adolescent incapacity to distinguish
between dream and reality, between the terms demanded of life and the terms
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Macmillan, 1992.
Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Great Gatsby. Ed. Ernest H.
Lockridge. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
Troy, William. “Scott Fitzgerald – The Authority of Failure.” F. Scott
Fitzgerald: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Arthur Mizener.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963. 21-22.