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

Gatsby is more of an anti-hero than a hero. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on the nature of the hero, give your response to the above view.

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Gatsby is more of an anti-hero than a hero. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on the nature of the hero, give your response to the above view. Gatsby is one of the most complex literary characters of the twentieth century, and certain critics believe that he would be better described as an anti-hero than a hero. Contrary to a regular hero, anti-heroes often exhibit misplaced values, involvement in crime, dubious morality and egotism. I believe that Gatsby certainly fits this description, and in examining why a good place to start is his egoism. Gatsby is a fundamentally self-centred character who will sacrifice anything to attain his dream. He has the best of everything. He has everything except the one thing he actually wants, Daisy: "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay." His desire has deluded him, and he seems to lack regard for Daisy?s feelings. When Nick warns him that he is expecting too much of her, he responds, ?"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"? This close-minded outlook is typical of an anti-hero; a conventional hero would have more consideration of others. ...read more.


This was a very common crime in the 1920s, and bars that sold alcohol were referred to as ‘speakeasies.’ An example of an affluent bootlegger is Al Capone. Within 2 years, Capone was earning $60 million a year from alcohol sales alone. However, his life was not a glamorous affair; he was caught and spent 11 years in jail. Capone, like Gatsby, is morally ambiguous. Al Capone was seen as hero to many in Chicago because he operated soup kitchens to win the public’s favour. This is just like how Gatsby’s parties act as a public façade to hide his true identity. Gatsby never went to jail – he got a life sentence instead. In light of this blatant criminality, it perplexes me that anyone could claim that Gatsby is a traditional hero. Those that oppose my view claim that Gatsby fits a more traditional description of a hero. Qualities associated with heroes include strength in the face of adversity, vitality, resourcefulness and individuality. There may be some merit to this opinion, especially if we consider that Gatsby is the quintessential caricature of the tragic hero. In tragedy, the hero’s downfall is due to combination of external circumstances and internal flaws. ...read more.


Gatsby is certainly a good deal more moral than many of the characters that surround him. Again, to quote Nick: ??They're a rotten crowd,? I shouted across the lawn. ?You're worth the whole d**n bunch put together.?? The "rotten crowd" to whom Nick is referring are the rich characters such as the Buchanans, Tom and Daisy, who run away from their problems and hide behind their money. Nick points out that even a liar and criminal like Gatsby is better than the other liars and criminals because of his boyish romantic dreams. His desires are focused on ideals (like love) instead of materialism, and he did the honourable thing in waiting and sacrificing himself for Daisy, his holy grail. This sliver of morality is enough to claim that Gatsby is mores a traditional hero than an anti-hero. To conclude, after careful consideration we determine that Gatsby is indeed more of an anti-hero than a hero due to his general lack of redeeming features. It could be argued that there are no heroes in The Great Gatsby, and that is one of the aspects that make it stand out in the literary world. The opposing arguments have some merit but ultimately they fail to realise the true implications and context of The Great Gatsby. ...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 F. Scott Fitzgerald 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 F. Scott Fitzgerald essays

  1. Three characters in The Great Gatsby and the theme of obsession

    In Gatsby's case, distance made his heart grow fonder. It was evident that Gatsby followed Daisy's activities when he showed her the clippings on their first meeting. "Look at this," said Gatsby quickly. "Here is a lot of clippings -about you."(90)

  2. The real hero of The Great Gatsby is not Gatsby but the narrator Nick ...

    Even though he is far from perfect, Nick maintains a higher moral standard than most of the characters in The Great Gatsby. In chapter one he states, ?I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever.? Nick wishes to bring

  1. The American Dream is what drives the characters in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

    Fitzgerald intricately places characters in these social trends. Meyer Wolfshiem, a man that is the epitome of the underground mafia. WWI vets Nick and Gatsby?s new found cynicism. Also, Jay Gatsby?s need to climb the ?social ladder? shows the need of wealth of the individuals in this era.

  2. Fitzgeralds portrayal of the female characters in The Great Gatsby reveals an underlying hatred ...

    They exchanged love letters, but the relationship ended when Ginevra?s father bluntly told Fitzgerald that he had no business dating rich girls. This gave him a sense of inferiority and was the cause of his l**t for wealth, much like Gatsby.

  1. The Great Gatsby is more effective as a symbolic novel than as a realist ...

    In true romantic style, both men believe it is their chivalric duty to protect women. Lancelot is, ?bound by oath to protect ladies.? Likewise, Gatsby cares deeply for Daisy: ?I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed.? Gatsby is also willing to sacrifice his own reputation for Daisy?s

  2. The Great Gatsby is too serious to be called a Satirical Novel. With reference ...

    saw Wilson's body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was complete.? The use of a word as strong as holocaust suggests that the novel was meant to be taken as a tragedy. In light of this, it perplexes me that anyone could claim The Great Gatsby is a satirical novel.

  1. Tom Buchannan reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s. ...

    into the professions began to slow; in some professions, such as medicine, science, and even teaching, the proportion of women began to decline outright. Laws were passed that made it easier to fire married female teachers and civil service workers.

  2. The Great Gatsby is more like a realist novel than a modernist novel. With ...

    Further support for the view that the novel is more realist than modernist can be found when we consider how Fitzgerald uses social realism in his writing. Social Realism is an international art movement that draws attention to the everyday conditions of the working classes and the poor, and who are critical of the social structures that maintain these conditions.

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