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CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF THE CONCLUSION OF "THE GREAT GATSBY" The conclusion of any novel should be both memorable for the reader and resonate with the main themes of the novel (i.e. the ultimate viewpoint of the author). "The Great Gatsby" manages to do this successfully, but only thanks to the last page of the novel, which contains exceptionally poignant and expressive writing. By the end of the novel, the main action of the novel (i.e. the passage between the confrontation of Gatsby and Tom at the Plaza Hotel and the deaths of Gatsby and Wilson) has happened: the novel has reached its climax, and now it is losing momentum fast. This leads to an inevitable feeling that the rest of the novel is somewhat of a formality, included merely to tie up the loose ends of the storyline. This lends this last section of a thought-provoking novel a rather artificial feeling, rather self-conscious and detached segment. By the time the reader reaches the very last section, the novel has lost the frenetic pace and contrast that characterised the chapters immediately preceding this conclusion and so the reader may be losing interest, meaning the ending is not memorable thus far. ...read more.


can emerge from a battle with time victorious; "On the white steps (of Gatsby's mansion) an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight" - this highlights the facts that Gatsby could never really integrate into East American society and that there are very few people that care for him (also shown by the pitiful attendance at his funeral). The "American Dream" is also dealt with in this final section, with Fitzgerald touching upon the dreams of the first American settlers and their similarities to those of Gatsby: they both saw a country with the scope for infinite possibility; a wondrous opportunity to re-invent themselves in a new land. Where this may have once been true, it does not need to be stated by Fitzgerald that Gatsby has failed to achieve this, adding to the feeling of sympathy and sheer sadness in the ending of the novel, portraying Gatsby, once again, as a victim of the changed times (i.e. ...read more.


The moving ambiguity of the final segment shows Nick neither rejecting nor accepting the "American Dream" as a reality, merely his thoughts on the difficulty in achieving it, interlaced with a thoughtful farewell to his friend, who tried and failed to transform his dreams into a reality. It is, then, the last page or so of "The Great Gatsby" that saves the conclusion of the story. Previously, Fitzgerald had pushed the story into a state of relaxed formality which, following the breakneck pace of the climactic scenes, seemed almost irrelevant. The novel had made the transition from action to contemplation effectively, but was in danger of stagnating into a rather lifeless ending. It is on the last pages, where Nick (Fitzgerald) describes the fruitlessness of dreams with such expressiveness, that the ending transforms from being slightly formulaic into being a swirling cocktail of emotions and ideas on life, touching on issues almost shockingly fundamental with the characteristic exquisite simplicity that flows through the veins of this brilliant tale, making the conclusion both memorable for the reader and reflective of the prevalent themes of the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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