• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Gatsby is more a ruthless criminal than an irresponsible dreamer(TM) How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Gatsby is more a ruthless criminal than an irresponsible dreamer' How far do you agree with this statement? - The title of The Great Gatsby, to a certain degree is misleading in the sense that Gatsby is being referred to as 'Great'. Understandably, this may be a reference to his characteristic, 'gift of hope' which encourages him to follow his dream through to the end. Considering the perception that Gatsby is a ruthless criminal, it is an understandable analysis of him considering his involvement in bootlegging and bond fraud. As his distorted version of the American dream is to achieve Daisy, Gatsby realised that he needed wealth in order to fit into Daisy's world. Therefore, he followed the 'Get rich quick scheme' which was very popular during this new age of the 1920s. This scheme eventually saw him having to resort to crime as a way of accumulating his wealth. Gatsby can be classed as a type of 'gangster', and as one he would have had to use many people and conned many people in order to get to where he needed to be. 'Bootlegging' was a con as it was the illegal selling of 'watered-down' alcohol during the 'prohibition'. ...read more.

Middle

This was all a means though of achieving his distorted version of the American Dream, which was to retrieve Daisy. Importantly, he does not abide by the 'protestant work ethic' which states that a man should work hard and earn a comfortable living by which he and his family can live a peaceful and enjoyable life. He also participated in a bit of bond fraud on the side as Fitzgerald notifies the reader in chapter IX. A strange phone caller says to Nick (thinking it Gatsby), 'Young Parke's in trouble. They picked him up when he handed the bonds over the counter.' The way he commits himself to such illegalities is irresponsible on his behalf. His irresponsibility with money can be paralleled with the Wall Street Crash in the 1930s (after this novel), where money and assets were handled carelessly. Gatsby is irresponsible with his dreams because he is not only jeopardising his own future in order to achieve possibly an unattainable dream, but also the fact that he is endangering the lives of others around him because of the violence that being a gangster embodies. Fitzgerald uses the whole situation of bootlegging and bond fraud as a social satire in which is trying to criticise the growing moral decadence in modern American society. ...read more.

Conclusion

To some extent, Gatsby is a victim of false hope. He is presented with many different appearances due to Nick's narrative. In one circumstance, he is revealed to be a criminal but the superficial reasons he has for committing these illegalities are that they are a means of achieving his dream which is Daisy. Gatsby embodies the idea of the dreamers who founded America. These people were in search of new beginnings and this is true of Gatsby, who reinvented himself as Jay Gatsby having previously known as James Gatz. Gatsby is depicted as a man who retains some of the purest traits of the old dream, but loses them by attempting to reach his goals by wearing the dream's modern face, with its corruption and depravity. One of Gatsby's major flaws is his incapability to distinguish between the dream world and the real world, which leads him into irresponsible acts like becoming a ruthless criminal. In a way he is both an irresponsible dreamer and a ruthless criminal, but the aforementioned are a result of his unattainable desire to repeat the past. Conclusively, Gatsby seems to be more a ruthless dreamer who is intent upon achieving his dream at any cost, than anything else. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The English patient tells Kip that the two of them get along so well because they are both "international bastards"-men born in one place who choose to live in another. Unlike his brother, Kip embraces the western world, and especially the English.

  2. Free essay

    Coleridge states that Iago is a being next to the devil driven by motiveless ...

    Othello is a tragic drama, based upon the fall of innocent characters, which are manipulated and mislead by Iago. He is triggered with anger and jealousy, as Cassio is made lieutenant, in which he rages revenge and plots against anyone to his advantage.

  1. The Female is Nothing But the Body To what extent do you agree with ...

    Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people and only one is involved." She tells us that all of this is '[his] doing', she again tries to distance herself from any involvement, this is contrasted by "Nor does rape cover it: nothing is going on here that I haven't signed up for."

  2. A Comparative Analysis of 'Absolution' and Chapter One of The Great Gatsby

    This acts as a reflection on Nick's character. Although he tells us earlier on that he is 'inclined to reserve all judgements', which suggests his motives would be positive and he would be acting in good nature, we see that his real motive to help the man was selfish.

  1. English Lit Coursework (Comapring Othello, Wuthering heights and Gatsby)

    disregard to morals and any care for the effect on outsiders like Gatsby. Comparably, Fitzgerald presents the threshold between two worlds of class in Myrtle and George's relationship. Myrtle Wilson strives for a life of wealth, in order to be accepted into the party lifestyle.

  2. Free essay

    Discuss the way in which the female characters are presented in the Great Gatsby

    type of role reversal which would have been frowned upon in the Victorian era. Nick decided that the 'bored haughty face that she turned to the world' conceals an incurable dishonesty born of her unwillingness to be at a disadvantage (47-8).

  1. The enticing themes of human desires and dreams in the city acts as a ...

    In "Jazz", Joe adapts to the city more easily than Violet; the idea of "way" does little to stimulate love and focuses on the idea of desire as he finds himself once again propelled by desire. "Jazz" gives an insight into black culture, and Joe's admiration towards the city where

  2. The Idea of Carelessness in "The Great Gatsby", Rosetti's poems and "The Rime ...

    there are underlying tones which hint at how fake her character is by blatantly ignoring the fact that she has a husband and being careless about the consequences which may arise from her meeting up with another man. These consequences also have an impact on Gatsby?s character, as ?he felt

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work