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Three characters in The Great Gatsby and the theme of obsession

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Introduction

Three characters in The Great Gatsby and the theme of obsession. Deep within feelings of love, hope, determination and perseverance is a dark entity, a slow growing parasite that feeds off feelings of rejection, despair, failure-the feelings people keep hidden, suffocating inside. The entity is a shape shifter of sorts, transforming and rooting itself in the empty realities created by individuals. In its new form, obsession has embedded its roots into three specific characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby: Jay Gatsby, an overly hopeless romantic, Daisy Buchanan, a lady of incredibly high maintenance, greed and impossible standards, and George Wilson, a meager car mechanic with a broken marriage. The obsession shrouds the minds of these characters with a miasma of denial and false hope, which inevitably destroys something within them. The characters of this riveting novel are the driving force behind that one incredible, but tragic summer in the midst of the Roaring '20s. Jaded, Arrogant, Youthful. Jay Gatsby is-was, the epitome of the undying and passionate love that one human can offer another. But was what he was feeling really love? Obsession, in his case, plagued the true perception of love and dedication and transformed those feelings into a compulsive and unrealistic desire to possess Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby"s one, "true" love. Gatsby's obsession drove him to illustrate an intricate fantasy world, with Daisy as the "high priestess", and Gatsby as her suitor. Nick Carraway, Gatsby's good friend, states, "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams-no through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion...No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart" . Clearly, Gatsby must have looked reality in the eyes, blinked, and ignored it entirely. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike Alger's heroes, Jimmy Gatz even goes the wrong direction literally; he goes east, not west. Similarly, Fitzgerald viewed the Twenties as exemplifying the corruption of the original American Dream itself. There is a tremendous amount of FSF in both Gatsby and Nick Carraway. Critics have noted Fitzgerald's "divided" nature. Like Gatsby, Fitzgerald rejected the circumstances of his own birth and Midwestern youth and longed for a larger, glamorous, romantic life. Like Nick, he believed in the rightness of moral behavior, condemning the excesses in his own behavior even as they destroyed him. Fitzgerald was his own worst enemy and his own worst critic. Gosh, I just LOVE this question! It is so incredibly cool to read all of the responses and know that each and every one, although totally different, is totally "right" and evidenced by the text! : ) But I digress . . . Gatsby's major flaw is his complete and utter obsession with Daisy Buchanan. In my opinion, every single bad thing that happens in this novel would not have happened if Gatsby didn't become obsessed. First, Gatsby turned bad: the bootlegger. Upon meeting Daisy and fighting in the war, Gatsby made up his mind to earn that money in order to gain Daisy's affections. There was only one way a poor boy could make that money, so Gatsby turned to a life of crime (so to speak). Second, Gatsby the strange conversationalist. Gatsby never seems to fit his skin: always fidgeting and always backpedaling. Why is this? Because Gatsby changed who he was (form poor boy to dandy) in order to gain his obsession: Daisy. Even in the case of meeting Nick at his little home, Gatsby's curtness and strange decisions all center around that one obsession. Third, Gatsby the host of reckless parties. Whether you're discussing moral or physical harm, Gatsby's parties were the source of it all! ...read more.

Conclusion

He'd worked too hard and too long to win. Towards the end Gatsby wouldn't give up on Daisy. After the accident in which Daisy killed Mrs. Wilson, it was the end for her and Gatsby. And yet "He couldn't possibly leave Daisy until he knew what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope ... " (148) Daisy couldn't possibly face the fact that she might go to jail and she knew Gatsby would take her blame. Taking her blame would be the last great thing Gatsby would do for Daisy. "He felt married to her, that was all." (149) Gatsby might have been able to avoid being killed by Mr. Wilson but he really didn't have any more reason to live. Daisy was back with Tom, he'd lost most of his so called friends who used to party at his house, and he really didn't have any real friends, except for maybe Nick. Nick saw the greatness in Gatsby. He even said to Gatsby, "They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together." (154) That would be the last time he spoke to Gatsby. It was sad after Gatsby's death that so few people came to mourn him. His father showed up after reading about his son's death in a newspaper. Nick was always there until the end, and a former guest of one of Gatsby's parties came. Gatsby was a great man who had touched few people, but in irreversible ways. He made Nick realize what wealth could do to a person. He had held Daisy's love throughout her marriage, even if she did abandon him in the end. And he was always a topic of discussion wherever he went. Gatsby truly was a great man. He came from an ordinary background and built himself up to where he ended. He loved Daisy unconditionally and made a life for himself. It takes a great person to take what they have, and get to where they dream to be. He was loyal to the end, never straying from his dream once. ...read more.

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